Sunday 17 December 2017

People in city centres are 60 times more likely to be the victims of theft

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

People are over 60 times more likely to become victims of theft in central Dublin, Limerick and Cork than in parts of the west or north of the country.

Garda crime statistics reveal major hotspots for such crimes in the busy garda districts which cover these city centre areas.

The figures include crimes such as car theft, interfering with a vehicle, bicycle theft, pickpocketing, bag snatching, thefts from a person, shop or business, or the handling or possession of stolen property.

Nine of the top 10 blackspots, per head of population, are in the centres of the three main cities.

The figures cover crimes committed in the first six months of the year.

The highest rate is in Dublin's Pearse Street, which recorded 7,964 thefts per 100,000 people.

It was closely followed by the nearby Store Street sub-district, where 6,460 cases were recorded per 100,000 people. The top three was rounded out by the Anglesea Street area in Cork, where the force's city headquarters is based, which recorded 3,276 cases of theft per 100,000 people.

Outside of the two largest cities, Henry Street in Limerick was the next most likely area for someone to be a victim of theft.

It recorded a rate equivalent to 1,294 thefts per 100,000 people.

The data is based on theft crimes recorded in 563 garda sub-districts for the first six months of the year.

Using statistics provided by gardai to the Central Statistics Office and census data, it has been possible to calculate the rate of offences per head of population in each sub-district area.

The data showed that city sub-districts in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford accounted for one in every four thefts committed in Ireland in the first half of the year.

City centre districts in Dublin have a huge problem with bicycle theft in particular, with the Dublin Cycling Campaign estimating 14 bicycles a day are being stolen.

A lot of petty theft is also thought to be linked with the higher proportion of drug addicts frequenting the city centre, where several clinics are located.

Both the Dundalk and the Castlebellingham areas of Co Louth feature in the top 15 most theft-prone areas, while Portlaoise and Galway sneak inside the top 20.

In contrast, small towns such as Ennistymon in Co Clare and Craughwell in Co Galway experienced very low levels of theft.

The statistics showed that a person was over 60 times less likely to fall victim to theft in either of those towns than they would be in Dublin city centre.

Within Dublin, theft rates are much less pronounced in the suburbs than they are in the city centre.

A person is 10 times less likely to be the victim of theft in Rathmines, Santry or Donnybrook than they are in the Pearse Street area.

The lowest rates of theft in Dublin city and its environs are in Lucan, Malahide, Garristown and Raheny.

Theft levels in Co Cork outside of Cork city centre are also much lower.

For example, a person is 14 times less likely to be the victim of theft in Fermoy than they are in the Anglesea sub-district.

Similarly, someone in Fermoy is four times less likely to be a victim of theft than a person in the Bridewell sub-district.

On a county by county basis, Dublin had the highest level of theft, with the average rate across all garda sub-districts in the county being equivalent to 658 per 100,000 people.

Co Limerick was second, with 529 cases per 100,000, followed by Co Louth (467 per 100,000), Laois (461 per 100,000) and Waterford (380 per 100,000).

The county with the lowest average theft level was Donegal, with a rate of 133 per 100,000 people. Rates were also relatively low in Mayo, Monaghan, Leitrim and Roscommon.

Irish Independent

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