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Some crime categories back at pre-COVID levels

21 Dec 2022 / policing Print

Some crime categories back at pre-COVID levels

Official figures show that many categories of crime increased in the 12 months to the end of September this year, with theft recording the biggest rise.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said that more than 62,500 thefts were recorded in the 12-month period to September – an increase of almost 40% compared with a year earlier.

The CSO warned, however, that previous figures for some crime categories might have been influenced by COVID-19 restrictions.

It pointed out that, while thefts had increased to 69,000 incidents in 2019, this had dropped sharply in 2020 and 2021.

Kidnapping and assaults up

Cases of kidnapping and related offences were up almost 30%, while the category covering attempted murder, assaults, harassments, and related offences recorded a 20% rise.

Burglaries were up 18%, and offences linked to robbery, extortion, and hijacking increased by 17%.

Controlled-drug offences fell by 19% during the 12-month period, however.

The CSO also reported that, although fraud offences were up 8% over the year, there was a 38% drop in this category in the third quarter of 2022, compared with the same period last year.

“This was largely driven by a fall in unauthorised transactions, and attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone,” the CSO said.

Homicides jump

The figures for the third quarter alone showed increases in 11 of 13 crime categories, with homicides up almost 90% compared with the same quarter in 2021. Theft offences were up by 43%.

Assaults during the third quarter showed a 6% increase compared with a year earlier.

The CSO said that thefts and burglaries were now returning to pre-pandemic levels, after falls in 2020 and 2021. In contrast, fraud offences have been increasing every year since 2018.

The office still categorises the figures for recorded crime as ‘statistics under reservation’, due to concerns about the quality of data from the gardaí’s PULSE system.

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