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Tuesday 28 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# pandemic stats
Garda stats: Domestic violence, drug possession and fraud on the rise during lockdown
Gardaí released the stats today.

THERE HAS BEEN a significant reduction in criminality during lockdown but domestic violence and drug offences are on the up, according to garda stats. 

Burglaries are down by nearly half, robberies are significantly down and so are crimes such as threats to murder. 

However, serious crimes including domestic abuse and a host of fraud offences have increased significantly. An Garda Síochána said it was is releasing its crime figures to demonstrate “indicative crime trends for the 3-month period of March/ April/ May 2020 compared to the same period 2019″.

It said that one impact of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic is that thefts, in general, have reduced but crime has not stopped and criminals continue to look for opportunities to exploit.

• Burglaries are down 44%  but there were still over of 2,000 incidents reported in this three month period
• Shoplifting is down 39% 
• Theft of cars and bicycles are down 43% and 9% respectively 

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: “During the Covid-19 crisis, 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.

“We have maintained our focus on protecting the vulnerable in the current situation. For example, early on we put in place a specific operation to help victims of domestic abuse, as well as encouraging all victims of this crime to report any concerns they have to us.”

Despite the above reductions, there have still been some unwanted increases. The following stats show the effect of lockdown on the public: 

Crime Stats

• Sexual Offences – 38%
• Attempts/ Threats to Murder, Assaults and Harassments – 24%
• Minor Assault – 30%
• Assault or Obstruction of a Garda/ Official, resisting Arrest + 25%
• Domestic Abuse Related Calls + 25
• Breaches of Domestic Violence Order Incidents + 10%
• Formal Notifications to Tusla +18%
• Controlled Drugs Offences + 10%
• Possession for Sale or Supply + 18%
• Simple Possession (personal use) + 7%

Operation Faoiseamh, a pro-active operation to support all victims of domestic-related crime was launched on 1 April 2020. Gardaí said that an increase in Tusla notifications is consistent with the increase in domestic abuse calls as, where children are present, it is Garda policy to notify Tusla.

Away from violent crime, gardaí have also noticed a spike in economic criminal activity linked to the pandemic. Online fraud has become rife and is reflected in the following stats;

  • Fraud, Deception and Related Offences – 21%
  • Account Take Over Frauds +56
  • Phishing (email)/Vishing (voicemail)/Smishing (text messaging) Frauds +45%
  • Shopping/Online Auction Fraud +55%

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris also said the force had commenced a process “to establish/ re-invigorate Drugs Units in each Garda Division”.

Gardaí have issued press releases during the month of May 2020 alone, totalling combined drug seizures in excess of €4.15 million.

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