Minister McEntee notes release of CSO Crime Statistics on victims and suspected offenders
The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has noted today’s publication of the latest statistics on victims and suspected offenders of serious crimes recorded by An Garda Síochána.
The latest release from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) covers Recorded Crime Victims 2021 and Suspected Offenders 2020, and includes statistics showing a rise since 2018 in the proportion of victims who are women in crimes including attempts/threats to murder, assaults, and harassment offences.
Minister McEntee said,
“The new national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – which I will bring to Government in the coming weeks - will have a particular focus on prevention, and on ensuring victims are better supported.
“It will set an overall goal of zero tolerance for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and will ensure that people, particularly women and vulnerable people, feel safe and are safe in our communities.
“I am also focused on strengthening legislation in this area. Last week I secured Government approval to draft legislation to make stalking and non-fatal strangulation standalone offences, and I will publish a new Hate Crime Bill which will introduce new, specific aggravated offences with enhanced penalties for crimes motivated by prejudice against certain characteristics, including gender.”
The CSO report shows that four out of five victims in sexual violence cases in 2021 were women, and the Minister also noted the drop in the proportion of sexual violence incidents that were reported within a year of them occurring – and urged people to report these heinous crimes as quickly as possible to assist An Garda Síochana in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Minister McEntee added,
“We know that these statistics do not paint the full picture of sexual violence in this country, as it only relates to people who have come forward to report what has happened to them. We know that it a sad reality that there are many more victims of sexual violence out there.
“We need to know the true extent of this problem and that is why we agreed to the development and delivery of a significant new national survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland by the CSO. The survey will look in detail at the experience of sexual violence and abuse for both women and men in Ireland.
“The No Excuses campaign that my Department ran from 2019 until the end of 2021 underpins the message that sexual harassment and sexual violence will not be tolerated. It highlights that, as a society, we all have a role to play in preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence.
“We are currently in the process of developing a further campaign to raise awareness of the meaning and importance of consent.
“Also, through the Justice Plan and Supporting a Victim’s Journey, I am working to reform the criminal justice system at every point in which a victim comes into contact with it, and to help victims and vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence cases”
To date, a number of key actions have been delivered as part of implementing Supporting a Victim’s Journey including:
- The introduction of preliminary trial hearings;
- The nationwide rollout of Divisional Protective Services Units (DPSU);
- The first cohort of staff at a new sexual offences unit in the Director of Public Prosecutions office formally took up their roles last year;
- Work to advance the training for all personnel who come into contact with vulnerable victims is underway
The Department has also agreed to the development and delivery of a significant new national survey on the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland by the CSO. It will look in detail at the experience of sexual violence and abuse for both women and men in Ireland.