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Victims and offenders in 20% of sexual violence cases aged under 18 - CSO

Almost all offenders in cases of sexual violence reported in 2019 were men, Central Statistics Office data showed.

Image: PA Images

ONE-FIFTH OF sexual violence cases reported in 2019 involved both a victim and suspected offender aged under 18, new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

The latest data on recorded crime suggests that in 19.6% of cases involving sexual violence, both the victim and the suspect were underage.

Sexual violence cases most commonly involved a suspected offender over the age of 30 and a victim under the age of 18, occurring in 26.9% of cases.

Almost all offenders in cases of sexual violence reported in 2019 were men, at 99.4%, the CSO data showed.

Four out of five, 79%, of victims of sexual violence reported in 2020 were female.

The majority of victims of murder and manslaughter, some 84%, were male.

But the number of female victims of murder or manslaughter had fallen in each of the last three years.

CSO statistician Sam Scriven said: “The figures published today provide detail on the age and sex of both victims and suspected offenders of serious crimes reported to An Garda Siochana.

“There were 32 male victims (84%) and six female victims (16%) of murder or manslaughter in Ireland in 2020.

“Both the number and proportion of female victims of murder or manslaughter has fallen in each of the last three years.

“As has been the case in previous years, four out of five, 79%, of victims of sexual violence crimes reported to An Garda Siochana in 2020 were female.”

For detected homicide offences in 2019, 83% of suspected offenders were male.

The proportion of males was higher for murder or manslaughter incidents (90.3% male) than for incidents of dangerous driving leading to death (72.7% male).

17 males and 17 females were killed in incidents classified as dangerous driving leading to death in 2020.

In murder and manslaughter cases recorded in 2019, the suspected offender and victim were both male in three-quarters, or 74.2%, of cases.

In contrast, more than three-quarters, 76.5%, of detected sexual violence crime involved a male suspected offender and a female victim.

Reporting of sexual violence crimes decreased in 2020 when compared with 2019, from 2,827 victims to 2,534 victims overall, in part due to lockdown restrictions.

But it remained the case that four out of every five victims, 79.2%, were female.

Some 2,006 females reported sexual violence in 2020 compared to 528 males.

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Over half, 55.5%, of victims of physical assault and related offences recorded in 2020 were male.

The statistics from the CSO have been published “under reservation”, meaning they do not meet the standard of statistics officially published by the organisation.

The sole source of data for recorded crime data is the PULSE system used internally by An Garda Siochana.

In 2014, the Garda Inspectorate report identified quality issues in relation to the recording of data on the PULSE system, leading the CSO to suspend publication of the data.

This has led to ongoing reviews and suspensions of publishing data.

As of quarter one in 2018, the quality of the data did not meet the CSO’s standards for completeness and accuracy.

But the absence of regular, impartial and transparently produced crime statistics is said to create a vacuum for policymakers and citizens.

As such, the CSO felt that the “over-riding public interest” was best served by the resumption of publication of recorded crime statistics, categorised as “under reservation” to highlight the quality issues.

It means the figures are likely to be revised, particularly in homicide cases, where there is an ongoing review of incidents between 2003 and 2017.

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