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Thefts up, fraud down in 12 months to Q2 2023

27 Jun 2023 / policing Print

Thefts up, fraud down in 12 months to Q1 2023

Official crime figures show a big increase in theft offences in the 12 months to the end of March 2023 compared with the same period a year earlier.

While most categories of crime recorded increases, there was a sharp fall in the number of fraud-related offences.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that there were 69,340 theft incidents recorded over the 12-month period to the first quarter of 2023 – up 36% compared with a year earlier.

Theft from shops accounted for half of the increase, according to the CSO.

Fewer fraud incidents

Fraud crimes fell, however, by more than 40% to 10,366, due to fewer incidents of unauthorised transactions and attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone.

Homicide and related offences rose by 28%, while the category covering robbery, extortion and hijacking recorded a 20% increase. Sexual offences were up 2% compared with a year earlier.

Victims of assaults, or attempts of threats to murder were up by 7%. Incidents involving dangerous or negligent acts were down 5%, while controlled-drugs offences fell by 1%.

Burglaries below pre-COVID level

The CSO says that the 9,246 burglary offences recorded over the 12-month period was just over half of the figure seen in the same period in 2019.

“This compares with the other categories of crime, which were either just below or above the pre-pandemic levels of 2019,” said statistician Jim Dalton.

The CSO also provided figures for the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 that showed an 8% drop in assaults compared with the same quarter last year, though the CSO points out that there was a mixed picture when the age of victims was taken into account.

There was in increase in male victims aged under 18, while there was also a sharp rise in the number of female victims aged 60 or over.

The comparisons between Q1 of 2023 and Q1 of 2022 also show a rise in theft offences and a drop in fraud. Overall, however, eight of the 12 categories recorded decreases.

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

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