Thefts, homicides and sex offences up but fraud down, latest crime figures show

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Niamh McGovern

Theft crime rose by 41pc in 2022 compared with the previous year, with 65,986 incidents last year.

It was the highest rate of increase in any crime category, latest figures for the last quarter of 2022 show.

The Central Statistics Office report shows that while theft crimes rose, fraudulent crimes fell by 32pc from levels in 2021.

With over 11,000 incidents of recorded crime incidents of fraud, deception and related offences in 2022, this was down by over 5,000 incidents from 2021.

Fraud, deception and related offences more than doubled between 2020 and 2021 to 17,030 before falling back to 11,569 in 2022. This was however 46pc higher than the 7,912 incidents recorded in 2019.

However, some categories of crime are above pre-pandemic levels (2019), while some are just below pre-pandemic levels and others are still significantly below 2019 levels.

Researchers said it was important to note that data for 2021 is likely to have been impacted by public health restrictions in place at the time due to Covid-19.

Along with theft and related offences increases, most other categories of recorded crime saw an increase in 2022. This included homicides and related offences (up by 30pc), robbery, extortion and hijacking offences.

There were 69 recorded incidents of homicide offences in 2022 and this compared with 63 incidents in 2019.

Recorded incidents of sexual offences in 2021 and 2022 exceeded 2019 levels with 3,688 incidents in 2022 and 3,495 incidents in 2021 compared to 3,361 incidents in 2019.

Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassment and related offences were 23,693 in 2022 and this was 9pc more than the 21,836 incidents recorded in 2019.

Over the period, there were increases in victims of assault across all male age groups except those between 18 and 29 years.

The highest rates of increase were among the older age groups.

Theft and related offences increased substantially across all regions of the country, with the highest percentage increase being for the Eastern and Southern regions (both +46pc) and lowest for the North Western region (+34pc).

Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences showed the highest percentage increase in the Southern region (+23pc) while the lowest increase was for the Dublin Metropolitan region (+11pc).

The Southern (+65pc) and Eastern (+53pc) regions had the highest increase in robbery, extortion and hijacking offences while there was just a 5pc increase in the Dublin Metropolitan region.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Walsh, chief executive of Peopl Insurance, said: “In light of the 10pc increase in burglaries captured in today’s CSO Recorded Crime Statistics, these statistics serve as a timely reminder for those heading off on an Easter break to take necessary security measures to protect their homes from burglaries, and also to ensure they have sufficient contents cover in place.”

Jonathan Hehir, managing director of insurer said: “There was a worrying 57pc increase in vehicle thefts last year. These numbers should hopefully act as a wakeup call to any motorist who might have a tendency to be a little remiss when it comes to car security – locking their car, turning on the alarm and so on.”