Sex crime doubles in three years

Simon Brouder

The latest crime figures for Kerry show there has been a significant increase in the number of sex crimes reported in the county.

The Central Statistics Office recorded crime data for the third quarter of 2018 and showed that a total of 23 sexual offences - including 19 rapes and sexual assaults - had been reported to Kerry gardaí in the three months.

That's compared to 13 in the same time period in 2017; 12 in the Quarter Three of 2016 and 11 in the third quarter of 2015.

While the number of individual offences reported this year may appear low, it should be noted that it represents a considerable 110 per cent increase - more than double - on the figure three years ago. The statistics, which only record when the alleged offence is reported, do not make it clear if the attacks took place recently or if they refer to historic, previously unreported incidents.

It should also be noted that due to serious misgivings about the quality of data contained on the garda PULSE system, the CSO issues what is effectively a health warning along with its crime figures.

The CSO advises that the statistics are "issued under reservation" and that the figures may subsequently be revised - up or down - when, and if, more accurate figures are compiled and eventually become available.

Aside from the worrying increase in sexual crimes, the rest of the figures for Kerry will likely be welcomed.

While there were relatively minor increases in theft and assault offences, most crime across the county was down, with public order and criminal damage offences down and drug offences remaining largely static.

Drug-dealing offences were down from 27 to 19 year on year, though the number of people arrested for simple possession went up from 116 to 149. Drink driving rates were also down, with just 63 suspected drink drivers arrested in Kerry in July, August and September compared with 91 in the same period in 2015 and 76 in the period last year.