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Detection rate for sex offences is lowest

05 Nov 2021 / policing Print

Detection rate for sex offences is lowest

Official figures show that the detection rates for most types of crime rose last year compared with 2019, though the figure for sexual offences was the lowest.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said that just over 80% of homicides reported last year had been detected by September this year.

A crime is considered to have been detected when an Garda Síochána (AGS) has identified at least one person responsible for committing the offence, and that person has been issued a charge or summons, a formal or informal caution, or a fixed payment notice.

Many rates improved

The CSO also published updated figures for crimes reported in 2019. These show that the detection rate for sexual offences reported in 2019 rose to 20% – up from just over 10% a year earlier. For 2020, however, the detection rate for sexual offences was 10% – the lowest in any crime category.

The highest detection rates for crimes reported in 2020 were in dangerous or negligent acts, where more than five of every six recorded crimes were detected.

The CSO said that the rates of detection for many crime types increased in comparison to the rates for 2019 crimes.

The percentage of assaults and related offences detected rose by five percentage points to 38%, while there was a similar increase for robbery (31%).

Dublin figure lower

The rate of detection for burglary rose by eight points to 22%, while the figure for criminal damage improved by four points to 24%.

For detected crimes in 2020, the proportion of suspected offenders who were male was 90% in the category of homicide, and 95% in the category of sexual offences.

“Similar to the findings in last year’s publication, the rates of incidence of crimes for many crime types were higher in Dublin than outside Dublin, while detection rates tended to be lower in Dublin than outside Dublin,” said CSO statistician Sam Scriven.

More speeding fines

The figures for fixed-payment notices issued by AGS show a fall in the number of fines issued for many categories of driving offences – including drink-driving offences, use of mobile phone while driving, seatbelt offences, and failure to display a valid NCT.

The number of fines issued for speeding, however, increased compared with 2019, as did fines issued for learner-driver and roadworthiness offences.

The CSO warned, however, that the varying COVID-19 restrictions in place for much of 2020 should be considered when examining the figures.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland