ALARM AT HUGE RISE IN VIOLENT CRIME AND MUGGINGS; Major Surge in Sexual Assaults While Aggravated Burglaries Have Rocketed by a Horrifying 19%; Nine of Garda's 14 Crime Categories Show Increases

Daily Mail (London), October 2, 2018 | Go to article overview

ALARM AT HUGE RISE IN VIOLENT CRIME AND MUGGINGS; Major Surge in Sexual Assaults While Aggravated Burglaries Have Rocketed by a Horrifying 19%; Nine of Garda's 14 Crime Categories Show Increases


Byline: Jane Fallon Griffin

ALARM has been expressed at a surge in violent crimes such as rape, violent robberies and muggings, illustrated by new Garda figures.

The figures, collected from the Garda Pulse system by the Central Statistics Office and published yesterday, show an almost 20% increase in the number of rapes - rising to 671 in the 12-month period up to June 2018, compared with a year earlier.

Overall, sexual assaults shot up by more than 10%. Similarly, aggravated burglaries - where someone commits a burglary with a weapon - rose by 18.8% to 247, while muggings jumped by 14.3%, or 173, to 1,381. Robbery from establishments or institutions also surged by an alarming 21.5% to 791.

The number of murders jumped by 12.5% from 40 to 45, while murder threats surged by a worrying 28.6% to 886. By contrast, murder attempts fell by four to 13.

Overall, there were increases in nine of the Garda force's 14 crime categories, while just four decreased and one remained the same over the period.

However, despite claims he has presided over an overstretched Garda force that has contributed to the crime surge, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan emphasised the positives from the statistics, and praised Garda progress in tackling gangland crime.

Sinn Fein justice spokesman Donnchadh Laoghaire said the increase in robbery and sexual offences was a serious concern.

'The figures do not make for positive reading, and the Minister for Justice must be more proactive regarding crime prevention,' he said. 'Despite what the Minister tells us, many Garda stations are running to standstill. Most Garda stations are still only just at or below 2010 levels.

'Couple that with an outright ban on overtime for the rest of the year and we are heading for a long winter with gardai being pulled and stretched in every direction.

'There are close to 3,000 sexual offences recorded, a 10% increase when compared to this time last year we need clarification as to why this figure is increasing, and support services in this area must be given the funding they require to deal with their caseloads in the upcoming Budget. …

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