Thursday 19 July 2018

Number of violent crimes against foreign tourists doubled last year

German couple Sebastian Smulders and Lena Weiss. Photo: Justin Farrelly
German couple Sebastian Smulders and Lena Weiss. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

The number of foreign tourists who were the victim of a violent crime more than doubled last year, according to the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS).

Seventeen tourists suffered aggravated thefts, assaults and robberies compared with eight in 2014, according to the ITAS's 2015 annual report.

Overall, seven tourists a day reported being the victim of a crime, with five out of seven victims reporting a crime in Dublin. Dublin city centre was the most common location for a crime to be committed (106 cases).

Many of these incidents occur shortly after the tourists arrived in the country.

British man Dafydd Hughes (45), for example, was smashed over the head with a broken bottle on O'Connell Street just two hours after he arrived in the city last July.

German couple Sebastian Smulders (33) and Lena Weiss (24) were also the victims of crime. The pair were left reeling last September when their car was stolen from Sean McDermott Street the day they arrived in the capital.

Thankfully, the car was later recovered.

Women were overwhelmingly the victims of crime, representing 59pc of cases.

The majority of cases were robberies (93pc) with more than €62,000 in cash being stolen.

In most cases tourists were robbed either from their person (188 cases) or from their cars (54 cases).

There were also eight cases of burglary, four incidents of fraud and three car thefts.

Tourists under the age of 40 were the most likely to be the victim of crime, especially those aged between 17 and 25, representing 29pc of cases, with those aged between 26 and 35 representing 22pc of cases.

Cash was the most common item stolen in 233 cases, followed by passports (223), credit cards (174) and driving licences (108).

German visitors were the most likely to avail of ITAS's services following an incident, (139). In total, ITAS assisted 823 tourists from 25 countries.

Irish Independent

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