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Rise in number of homicides and sexual offences in 2012

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the overall drop in crime lat year provides reassurance that “efficiencies” are making a real contribution to public safety.

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FIGURES FROM THE Central Statistics Office (CSO) have shown that there was a fall in most crime groups in 2012 though homicides and sexual offences both rose compared to last year. Overall there was a 5.5 per cent reduction in recorded crime and a reduction in 10 of the 14 crimes for which figures are given.

The CSO figures released today indicate an 18.2 per cent rise in homicide offences and a 2.2 per cent increase in sexual offences with burglaries also up slightly by 0.3 per cent.

Fraud, deception and related offences saw an increase of 3.2 per cent in 2012 compared with the previous year.

There were 60 recorded murder and manslaughter offences in 2012 which is an increase of 15 on the same period in 2011. The decrease in the number of ‘dangerous driving leading to death’ offences from 21 in 2011 to 18 in 2012 may be due to the fact that all road collision investigations for this period have not yet concluded, which will result in some being reclassified as homicide.

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  • Overall, sexual offences rose from 2,014 in 2011 to 2,059 in 2012 with a 6.3 per cent increase in rape.
  • Dangerous or negligent acts offences decreased by almost 10 per cent in 2012 with most recorded offences in this group related to driving or being in charge of a vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit. The number of these crimes fell 8.2 per cent.
  • Kidnapping and related offences, which includes human trafficking, were also down 10 per cent, mainly due to a decrease in false imprisonment offences.
  • Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences fell by 3.9 per cent between 2011 and 2012 wthough robbery of cash or goods in transit increased from 39 to 49.
  • There were 27,774 recorded burglary and related offencesin 2012, representing a slight increase of 799, up 0.3 per cent on 2011.
  • In 2012 there were 16,471 recorded controlled drug offences, a decrease of 6.9 per cent on 2011. The vast majority of these
    recorded offences were for possession of drugs for personal use, with 11,828 in 2012, a decrease of almost 7 per cent on 2011.
  • Possession of a firearm offences fell from 294 in 2011 to 246 in 2012, a decrease of over 16 per cent.

Today Justice Minister Alan Shatter welcomed the news and said the statistics “confirm the overall positive impact the gardaí are having on crime”.

These statistics are a timely reminder of the excellent work being carried out day in day out by members of the Force, of all ranks, under Commissioner Callinan’s leadership. They provide clear reassurance that the various innovations and efficiencies together with essential reforms in policing introduced by the Commissioner and being made by An Garda Síochána are in fact making a real contribution to public safety and the prevention of crime.

Shatter noted “with concern” the increase in the number of homicides in 2012 and condemned those involved in “a series of gangland crime related killings” over the course of the year.

AdVIC, an advocacy group for families of victims of homicide said people “must not forget that in all of these cases a human life has been taken in violence”.

The group called for a mandatory lief sentence with a minimum of 25 years to be retained in cases of first degree murder.

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