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Crime figures show fall in homicides, but rise in kidnappings

Reported murders and manslaughters were down 11 per cent between 2008-2012.

THE LATEST CRIME figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that there has been a fall in homicide, theft, assaults, damage to property, controlled drugs, and public order offences between 2008 and 2012.

However, there was a significant increase in the level of kidnappings, robberies and burglaries and extortion and hijacking.

The CSO states that reported murders and manslaughters were down 11 per cent, while assaults, attempts or threats to murder, harassments and related offences were down by 18 per cent.

However there was a rise in homicides by 20 per cent between 2011-2012.

Kidnappings were up 31 per cent, while extortion and hijacking offences were up 23 per cent and burglary was up 14 per cent.

Sexual offences

The report showed there was a rise in the level of sexual offences recorded, up 51 per cent between 2008 and 2012, however the gardaí said this was as a result of some of the offences being reviewed that may have occurred a while back in the past but are represented on the date of reclassification.

This review is being undertaken in conjunction with the Garda Síochána policy on the investigation of sexual crime, which was introduced in April 2010.

reviewing cases, many of which are historic and the crime being recorded at the time it is reported rather than the date it occurred.

In response to the publication of the CSO’s 2012 Annual Report, Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan commented:

The CSO’s 2012 Annual Report shows that reductions in crime rates were achieved in many of the crime groups such as homicide, theft, assaults, damage to property, controlled drugs, and public order between 2008 and 2012.

In total, reductions in nine of the 15 crime groups were achieved during this time. This demonstrated An Garda Síochána’s focus on keeping our communities safe and tackling crime in all its forms.

She said the gardaí proactively monitors emerging crime trends and patterns, and operations are constantly assessed and reviewed to ensure that targeted and co-ordinated measures are put in place.

Following an increase in burglary and related offences, Operation Fiacla, which is a national, multi-unit operation targeting travelling burglary gangs, was introduced and the latest figures from the CSO show a 10.9 per cent decrease in burglary and related offences.

“I welcome the CSO finding that there was an increase or no decrease in detection rates in eight of the 15 groups. In addition, the CSO report states that over the long-term detection rates for the majority of offences are quite stable,” she said.

She added that is a major priority for the gardaí to try and improve these figures.

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