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Burglaries fall 20% due to Covid-19 pandemic but drugs and weapon offences increase

While many types of crime fell some categories of serious crimes saw significant increases.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/Dmytro Zinkevych

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has caused burglaries in Ireland to drop by more than 20% in the first three-quarters of the year.

Freshly released figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the public health emergency has affected nearly every area of crime, with the number of robberies, thefts, extortion and hijacking offences all dropping sharply.

However, there was also increases in some categories of serious crimes including murder and drugs and weapons offences.

The CSO stats show that burglaries were down by 3,385 (20.4%) over the same period as last year. Thefts and related offences were also down by 12,183 (17.7%) and robbery, extortion and hijacking offences were down by 281 (12%).

There was also notable drops in the numbers of sexual offences, which fell 12% as well as murder attempts and threats, assaults and harassments, which fell nearly 8%.

Property damage crimes fell by over 9% while public order offences dropped by nearly 8%.

Despite murder attempts falling, the number of homicide offences recorded stood at 74, up five on last year.

Screenshot 2020-12-21 at 21.22.53

Drug offences rose by 1,818 (8.7%) while weapons and explosives offences were up 332, a rise of more than 12%.

Reports of false imprisonment increased by almost a third to 115 incidents.

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Justice minister Helen McEntee said the stats demonstrate a general, and welcome, decrease in many categories of crime.

“An Garda Síochána have played a vital role in supporting communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

Of course, crime has not stopped and criminals continue to look for opportunities to exploit.

“In addition to supporting the public health regulations, Gardaí have shown their determination to continue to prevent and detect crime with significant seizures and arrests for drugs, organised crime, burglaries, and drug and drink driving,” she added.

The minister said the increase in drugs and weapon offences was attributable to a greater degree of detection through targeted campaigns against organised crime as well as spotchecks.

“In the first six months of 2020, Garda operations to counter organised crime resulted in the seizure of €13.6 million in illicit drugs, 13 firearms and 2,000 rounds of ammunition,” she said.

About the author:

Ceimin Burke

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