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Most perpetrators known to crime victims, figures show

30 Apr 2024 / policing Print

Most perpetrators known to crime victims, figures show

In 2022, the suspected offender was known to seven out of every ten (71%) victims of detected sexual offences, CSO statistics show.

The Recorded Crime Victims 2023 and Suspected Offenders 2022 statistics show that two-thirds (67%) of victims of detected attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments, and related offences were also known to the victim.


The figures are based on recorded crime data collected by An Garda Síochána on its PULSE system.

In 2023, four in five (81%) victims of reported incidents of sexual offences were women and about half of all victims (49%) were under 18 at the time of the incident.

One in five (20%) detected sexual offences in 2022 involved a male suspected offender and a male victim.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of sexual offences reported by victims in 2023 were within a year of occurrence, but one out of every five victims (21%) referred to incidents that occurred more than ten years earlier.

Six in ten victims (60%) of assaults in 2023 were male and just over two-thirds (68%) of victims of harassment and related offences were female.

A third of victims (32%) of reported offences of dangerous driving leading to death in 2023 were under 18 when the offence occurred.

Statistician Jim Dalton said: “Recorded-crime-victim statistics for 2023 and suspected-offender statistics for 2022 published today include a new section which shows the nature of the relationship between victims and suspected offenders for detected sexual offences (rape and sexual assault) and assault and related offences in 2022."


“The data in this chapter is based on crime incidents where the relationship between the victim and suspected offender is known. Suspected-offender statistics are published up to 2022 only to allow time for criminal investigations to progress,” he said.

A crime is marked as detected when An Garda Síochána have 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.

For just over a fifth (21%) of victims of detected sexual offences, the suspected offender was a friend or acquaintance, and was a blood relative in 14% of cases.

Current or former intimate partners or spouses accounted for 7% of all suspected offenders for this type of offence. The suspected offender was a stranger to the victim in about three out of every ten (29%) detected offences.

For attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments, and related offences, friends or acquaintances accounted for 14% of suspected offenders while the share for current and former intimate partners or spouses was 9% and 6%, respectively.

The share of blood relatives among suspected offenders was 8%. In a third (33%) of such offences, the suspected offender was a stranger to the victim. 

Historic offences

‘Historic’ sexual offences refer to those offences reported more than one year after occurrence, while 'recent' offences refer to those reported within one year.

It is interesting to note the difference between the age of the victim at the time of the offence and the age of the individual when they reported the offence.

In 2023, about three in ten (28%) victims of historic sexual offences were males under 18 when the crime incident occurred, compared with about a half (48%) for female victims.

However, when it comes to the time of reporting the offence, 16% of victims were females under 18, compared with 5% for male victims.

[Nearly a quarter (23%) of victims were males aged 30 or over at the time of reporting, compared with just over a third (36%) for female victims.]

Homicide offences

Just over six in ten (63%) detected murder or manslaughter offences in 2022 involved both a male suspected offender and male victim while about a fifth (22%) involved a male suspected offender and female victim.

There were 64 victims of reported homicide and related offences in 2023, 16 fewer than the 80 reported in 2022.

Males accounted for 67% all homicides in 2022, while 33% were females.

In October 2023, the CSO lifted the ‘under reservation’ designation from all recorded crime data disseminated after Q1 that year.

This followed the development of quality assurance processes by An Garda Síochána.

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