Prostitution-related offences were up by 171% in Q1 2020, from 38 instances in 2019 to 103, according to new CSO figures.
Controlled drug offences rose by 3,003 (+15.7%) to 22,166 during Q1 2020 compared with the previous year, according to the statistics.
Incidents of driving while under the influence of drugs rose from 715 incidents in Q1 2019 to 1540 in Q1 2020.
Driving while over the legal alcohol limit, meanwhile, has decreased by 11%.
Fraud, deception and related offences were up 14.9%, or 1,026 incidents over the year.
Weapons and explosives offences were up by 11.3%, and attempts or threats to murder and assaults were up by 2.1%.
Sexual offences numbers fell by 4.6% in Q1 2020, the first year-on-year decrease since Q3 2014.
The number of homicide and related offences was lower than for the previous year by 12, with combined murder and manslaughter incidents down one, over the year.
Travel and other restrictions introduced in March 2020 are likely to driven down recorded crime incidents in the period.
Most other crime categories for Q1 2020 saw declining figures.
The five-year trend shows a sustained reduction in burglaries and theft over the period, but there was a consistent increase in drug-related offences.
Key Q1 2020 figures include:
- homicide and related offences (-16.9%),
- sexual offences (-4.6%),
- dangerous or negligent acts (-1.4%),
- kidnapping and related offences (-3.6%),
- robbery, extortion and hijacking offences (-4.7%),
- burglary and related offences (-1.9%),
- theft and related offences (-0.4%),
- damage to property and the environment (-1.7%),
- public order and other social code offences (-2.5%),
- offences against Government, justice procedures and organisation of crime (-4.7%).
Justice minister Charlie Flanagan said that he noted with concern the increase in drug-related offences this year.
“Illicit drugs leave a terrible impact not only on those directly involved in their sale and consumption but on all of our communities, through their contribution to increased criminality.
“I believe that the increasing detection of these crimes and in particular the significant increase in recorded instances of importation of drugs (over 107%) demonstrates that Gardaí are continuing to make gains in the ongoing challenge of disrupting the illicit drugs trade in Ireland.”
The minister condemned drug driving for recklessness and indifference towards the safety and wellbeing of others.
Over a five-year period, there have been increases across a number of crime categories, including:
- sexual offences (+34%),
- attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences (+25%),
- dangerous or negligent acts (+21%),
- fraud, deception and related offences (+44%),
- controlled drug offences (+43%),
- weapons and explosives offences (+19%),
- offences against Government, justice procedures and organisation of crime (+31%).
Meanwhile, across the same five-year period there have been decreases across a range of crime categories, including:
- homicide and related offences (-29%),
- kidnapping and related offences (-8%),
- robbery, extortion and hijacking offences (-5%),
- burglary and related offences (-30%),
- theft and related offences (-8%),
- damage to property and the environment (-14%),
- public order and other social code offences (-3%).
The justice minister also praised the gardaí for successfully disrupting burglary gangs and driving down home break-ins by 30%.