Official figures show that detection rates for most categories of crime last year were similar to or below those recorded in 2021.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said, however, that detection rates for sexual offences had improved, while the figures for fraud-related crime were “significantly lower” in 2021 and 2022 than in previous year.
It added that a likely contributory factor was the fact that the volume of offences linked to fraud had more than doubled since 2020.
The figures show that just under one-fifth of sexual offences reported in 2021 had been detected by September 2023 – up from 12% a year earlier. The detection rate for sexual offences reported in 2022 was 9%.
Half of suspected offenders of detected sexual offences reported in 2022 were aged between 18 and 44 years when the offence took place, and 97% were male.
Dublin detection rate lower
Just over one-fifth of burglaries reported in 2021 had been detected by September 2023, while the rate for theft offences was just over one-third. Both figures were similar to those recorded a year earlier.
The detection rate for homicides, however, rose from 76% to 87%.
The CSO says that the crime rate in the Dublin Metropolitan region in 2022 was generally higher than in other regions, but the rate of detection was lower for a number of offence categories.
Statistics for fixed-payment notices issued by An Garda Síochána (AGS) show an increase of 28% in the number of fines (777) issued for drink-driving offences between 2021 and 2022, but the CSO points out that this was still well below the pre-COVID level of 1,069 notices issued in 2019.
‘Under reservation’ warning lifted
Fixed-payment notices issued for motorway offences were down 32%, cycling offences were up by 22% and those issued for public-order offences were up by 19% since 2021.
The statistics are the first since the CSO lifted its ‘under reservation’ notice on crime figures, after a review that found an improvement in the quality of data provided by AGS.
A crime is marked as ‘detected’ when 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.