The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has welcomed the continued decrease in burglaries noted in today’s publication of Recorded Crime Statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for Q2 2022.
This latest statistical release by the CSO provides an overview of crime statistics for the second quarter of this year.
There has been a 36% decrease in burglaries since pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Notably, there has also been a decrease in incidents of homicide and related offences.
Welcoming the publication, the Minister said:
“I welcome, in particular, the continued decrease in burglary and related crimes. Burglary is an invasion of not just a home but of the lives of victims. I am heartened to see that incidents of burglary and related offences are still down a great deal - 36% - in comparison to 2019 figures. As the evenings become darker I urge everyone to please exercise caution and follow the simple crime prevention advice which An Garda Síochána provides to communities in order to keep people safe and keep crime numbers low.
“I am also heartened to see the number of homicides go down, of course. Community safety is a whole of Government and whole of society responsibility which see Government Departments and agencies working with An Garda Síochána and countless, invaluable community groups to encourage community safety.
“While we still have a way to go, today’s figures are a welcome reminder that this collaborate effort benefits us all as we work towards an Ireland where every citizen can feel safe and be safe as they go about their day-to-day lives.”
Garda advice can be found at garda.ie/en/crime-prevention/
Operation Thor, is designed specifically to tackle incidents of burglary throughout the country. The winter phase of Operation Thor will commence at the start of October.
For many years, An Garda Síochána have been encouraging people to clearly mark their property and make a record of it. Property that is clearly and obviously marked is less attractive to a thief as it is more difficult to sell on.
Last week, Minister McEntee announced funding of €300,000 over the next 4 years for Property Marking Ireland, a not-for-profit property marking service, to further roll-out its services across the country. An Garda Síochána also recently launched a new Property App that allows the public to index and record their personal property, for example, bicycles, laptops, farm machinery etc. People are encouraged to download the free App and to take photographs, record receipts and registration codes of their most valued items.
While there are positives to take from the CSO statistics Minister McEntee also acknowledges the areas of crime that have risen post Covid such as Kidnapping & Related offences, Theft & Related offences and Attempts/Threats to Murder, Assaults, Harassments & Related offences. In response to these latest trends Minister McEntee will ensure that these specific crimes will be swiftly addressed by providing the required funding and resources necessary to tackle these criminal gang and drug related crimes.
In June, the Minister published Zero Tolerance - the third national Strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, an ambitious five-year programme of reform to achieve a society which does not accept DSGBV or the attitudes which underpin it.
Noting that today’s release has shown a 5.6% increase in reported sexual offences on last year, Minister McEntee said:
“Since becoming Minister for Justice, implementing Supporting a Victim’s Journey, which is my plan to create a more victim-centred justice system and to better support victims of sexual violence, has been one of my main priorities.
In June, I also published Zero Tolerance - the third national Strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, an ambitious five-year programme of reform to achieve a society which does not accept DSGBV or the attitudes which underpin it.
Zero tolerance means we, as individuals, don’t turn a blind eye to degradation, violence and abuse just because it’s behind closed doors. It means we don’t laugh off inappropriate touching or comments. It means we teach our children equality respect and healthy sexuality from a young age to change attitudes . It means supporting victims with compassion when they take the brave step and come forward to seek our help. It means effective punishment for perpetrators.
My hope is that the increase in reported sexual offences on last year is indicative of a growing trust in the system to support victims who have historically been under-supported, and also of a growing determination to treat sexual violence with zero tolerance by reporting crimes that have been historically under-reported.”
Noting the increase in fraud, the Minister said:
“The continued increase in incidents of fraud is concerning, particularly as the findings published today indicate that most of the fraudulent activity recorded relates to attempts to obtain people’s personal or banking information. Every person in Ireland deserves to feel safe and to be safe when they conduct their personal business online or over the phone - trying to trick people out of their personal information or hard-earned money is predatory and the reality is that anybody can fall victim to it.
“That is why we all need to be alert to the risk of fraud - I urge anyone conducting sensitive or personal business online or over the phone to be very cautious when providing personal or banking information. Many of the financial institutions have excellent advice for customers on how to be safe online, as does the Citizens’ Information website.”
“I note that there have been increases amongst many crime categories. It is important to note that in many cases these represent a return to pre-pandemic trends - a number of key crime categories decreased during periods of lockdown in 2020 and 2021 with people spending much more time at home. These figures represent a decrease on the 2019 figures for burglary and related offences which is a more reliable comparison. Targeted Garda activities such as Operation Thor are clearly having a positive impact.”
Notes for Editors:
- The full statistics can be accessed at: www.cso.ie
- The budget provided by Government to the Garda Commissioner continues to increase to unprecedented levels, with an allocation in excess of €2 billion for 2022. This significant investment demonstrates the Government's commitment to increasing the Garda workforce to enable the organisation to keep our communities safe. As a result, there are just under 14,300 Garda members and over 3,100 Garda staff nationwide.
- Statistics published “Under Reservation”: In early 2018, the CSO announced its decision to resume publication of recorded crime statistics in the first six months of 2018. However, as PULSE data – on which the CSO is wholly dependent - is subject to a number of separate ongoing quality reviews and concerns that extended beyond just homicide data, the CSO made the decision that recorded crime statistics will be published in a new category entitled: “Under Reservation”.
- According to the CSO, the classification of “Under Reservation” is in keeping with other jurisdictions and other statistical domains. This indicates that, while the statistics have been determined to be of sufficient quality to allow publication, ongoing issues mean that the quality does not yet meet the higher standard required of official statistics by the CSO.
- Criteria for lifting the categorisation: The CSO is engaging with An Garda Síochána to set out the criteria for the lifting of the reservation. These criteria are not confined to homicide data but will address quality concerns across a broader range of issues. They will address issues such as data governance, training, crime data recording procedures and the auditing and monitoring of data quality.
- Comparison with 2019 figures – figures taken from CSO website:
Type of Offence
Burglary and related offences
Fraud, deception and related offences
Actions which will be delivered across Government under Zero Tolerance include:
- Updated secondary school curricula at junior and senior cycle to include consent, coercive control and safe use of the internet;
- Improved training for professionals and support staff;
- Work to remove the legal barriers that prevent individuals experiencing sexual or domestic violence remaining at home where it is safe to do so;
- Begin engagement with the judiciary to consider the creation of specialised judges for domestic, sexual and gender based violence cases;
- Enact legislation to introduce stand-alone offences of stalking and non-fatal strangulation, as well as a new Sexual Offences Bill and the Hate Crime Bill.
- The Minister also continues to prioritise work to implement in full ‘Supporting a Victim’s Journey’
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 (DPSUs);
- 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 University of Limerick this month begins training intermediaries.