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Detection rates drop for most crimes categories

17 Nov 2022 / policing Print

Detection rates drop for most crime categories

Official figures show that detection rates for most categories of crime recorded last year fell compared with those for crimes recorded in 2020.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) measures detection rates eight months after the end of each year to ensure consistency.

Its 2021 figures show a particularly sharp drop in the detection rate for kidnapping and related offences, which fell by 17 percentage points to 29%.

Rates rise over time

The CSO points out, however, that the volume of crimes in this category is relatively low.

The detection rate for fraud, deception, and related offences was 6% – a fall of 13 percentage points compared with 2020.

The detection rates for offences linked to robbery, extortion, and hijacking (26%), and weapons and explosives (71%) were both down by five percentage points.

The CSO stresses that detection rates typically rise over time before settling.

The statistics show that detection rates, as measured in September 2022 for crimes reported in 2020, increased for most types of crime when compared to the initial detection rates in September 2021.

Nearly a quarter of fraud offences reported in 2020 had been detected by September 2022, compared with just under a fifth in 2021, while the detection rate for sexual offences doubled to 20% over the same period.

“For crimes with initially high detection rates, like public-order offences and homicide,, there is little change between the initial detection rate and subsequent updates,” said statistician Jim Dalton.

Dublin rates lag

The figures show that the crime rate in the Dublin Metropolitan region in 2021 was generally higher than in other regions, but the rate of detection was lower for a number of crimes.

For robbery, extortion, and hijacking, the crime rate in Dublin was 82 per 100,000 of population – around five times higher than any other region. The corresponding detection rate, however, for these robbery offences was 23% for the Dublin region, compared with 39% for the Southern Region.

The crime rate for theft in Dublin was around three times higher than in other regions last year, but the rate of detection was the lowest of any region, at 29%.

Fewer notices for driving without insurance

The statistics show that an Garda Síochána issued fewer fixed-payment notices in most offence categories in 2021.

Notices for driving without insurance dropped by just over 25%, while those for offences linked to carriage of goods, trailers, taxis and Luas fell by a similar percentage.

Cycling offences were down 25%, and the number of notices issued for failing to display a valid NCT disc fell by just over 20%.

There was, however, a 13% increase in the number of fines issued for learner-driver offences.

The CSO categorises the crime-detection figures as ‘statistics under reservation’, due to concerns about the quality of data from PULSE.

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