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'Significant increases' in online fraud during first half of this year, garda figures show

Bogus tradesman fraud also increased by 81% in the first six months of this year compared to 2021.

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“SIGNIFICANT INCREASES” HAVE continued in rates of online fraud in the first half of this year, according to new garda crime statistics. 

Comparing crime figures from the first six months of 2022 to the same period in 2021, gardaí said fraud offences are down by 2% on last year but there has been a continued sizeable increase in online fraud.

Account take over fraud increased by 128% on last year, accommodation fraud by 58% and bogus tradesman fraud by 81%. 

Technology-based fraud such as phishing increased significantly during the pandemic. Most other types of fraud decreased during this time. 

Burglaries on homes are also up by one-third on last year but they have reduced by 38% since 2019. 

Personal robbery incidents have also increased by 164% since 2021 but remain down by almost half compared to 2019. 

Blackmail and extortion offences have increased by a sizeable 227% in the first half of this year compared to figures in the same time period in 2019. 

Theft or unauthorised taking of vehicles also increased by 77% so far this year compared to 2021. Gardaí said a “significant portion” of this rise is related to thefts of second hand imported vehicles and electric scooters. 

Fatal road crashes increased by 62% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2021. 

More than 4,000 drivers have been arrested in the first six months of 2022 for offences of driving while intoxicated. 

Reported incidents of rape have increased by 23% on last year but sexual offences overall reduced by 3% in the same time period. 

There has been a 13% increase in domestic abuse incidents attended by gardaí this year compared to last year.

Gardaí said any increases around sexual assault figures may relate to people being “increasingly more likely to report sexual crime” alongside improved garda data quality and recording, as opposed to solely an increased level of incidents taking place.  

The quantity of drug detections has reduced but the volume of drugs being seized is increasing, gardaí said.   

Rates of murder increased by 7% this year compared to the first half of last year. 

But attempted murder rates reduced by one-quarter on last year and by 68% on 2019. 

A statement on the provision crime statistics for the first half of this year emphasised that Covid-19 public health measures in 2021 and 2020 “had a significant effect on crime, with most types of crime reporting reductions”.

Periods of lockdown restrictions in particular had a “large impact on many types of crime”, the garda statement said. 

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