The Central Statistics Office has released its most recent crime figures for Quarter 2 of 2013. Below is a press release issued today from the Department of Justice.
Publication by Central Statistics Office
of Recorded Crime Statistics, Quarter 2 2013
Minister Shatter praises continuing Garda success in reducing crime levels
Speaking today on the publication of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) recorded crime statistics for the twelve month period to the end of June 2013, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, welcomed the reduction in crime by over 20,000 offences, across most crime categories. The Minister said that great praise is due to the Gardaí for their continuing work on behalf of communities.
The CSO figures show reductions in 12 out of the 14 categories for which figures are given, and an overall reduction of 8% in recorded offences. The Minister particularly welcomed the drop of 8.9% in the number of burglaries recorded (a fall of 2,559). While the Minister recognised the impact of burglary on local communities and individual householders he was greatly encouraged that the overall number of burglaries continues to fall. The Minister also welcomed the reduction of 40.7% in incidents of robberies of cash or goods in transit.
He paid tribute to the sustained Garda drive against burglars which is coordinated under Operation Fiacla and focused on identifying and targeting mobile gangs involved in burglaries. Operation Fiacla is intelligence driven and specific burglary initiatives have been implemented in each Garda Region to target suspect offenders. As of 31 August, 6,329 persons have been arrested and 3,541 persons have been charged with burglary offences under Operation Fiacla.
Highlighting the reduction in weapons and explosives offences, (down 13.9%) the decrease in controlled drugs offences (down 12.6%) and the fall in kidnapping and related offences, (down 12.5%), Minister Shatter said “The figures show that those involved in criminal gangs and the evil drugs trade which they ply are being robustly opposed and this will continue as long as they pose a threat to our communities.”
The Minister congratulated the Gardaí on recent operations which resulted in important finds of arms and ammunition, and related arrests, and acknowledged the substantial work in which the Gardaí are engaged in targeting those engaged in subversive activities and criminal gangs, and the substantial drug seizures which are taking place on a regular basis.
While the number of cases of murder (-1) and manslaughter (-2) were down, the Minister voiced concern at the increase by 4 in the incidence of dangerous driving causing death offences. There were 20 such offences recorded whilst there were 16 such offences recorded in the same previous 12 month period. The Minister further noted the small reduction (-3) in the instance of dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm. The Minister also noted a substantial reduction of the offence of driving while over the legal alcohol limit (-15%) and whilst under the influence of drugs (-29%).
Minister Shatter said, “The figures illustrate the need for continued vigilance by all road users and that each of us has a responsibility to obey traffic laws and follow Garda advice on road safety. Garda enforcement of road traffic law continues to be extensive and determined and I am calling on everyone to support them to the full. It is noteworthy that during the relevant 12 month period the Garda Síochána had 71,777 checkpoints for alcohol around the country. ”
Referring to the reductions in public order offences (down a substantial 6,758 or 14.6%), assaults, threats and harassment, (down 10.2%) and damage to property (down 9.4%) the Minister commented that “Gardaí are continuing to tackle anti-social behaviour and foster enhanced cooperation with local communities.”
The Minister said he was very glad to see that An Garda Síochána is launching its very important “Supporting Safer Communities Campaign” this week, and that Gardaí will also play an important role in the Community Alert awareness month in October.
While the overall number of theft offences increased by 0.8%, one specific area of concern identified is that of theft from the person, which includes the phenomenon of mobile phone theft. This is the subject of a number of targeted Garda operations and specific crime prevention advice on keeping phones and other valuable items secure at all times.
Minister Shatter emphasised that he will continue to ensure that the Gardaí have the necessary legislative powers to tackle all forms of crime and drew attention to the recent publication of new legislation to provide for the establishment of a DNA database to assist the Garda Síochána in tackling crime.
The enactment of this legislation will fulfil a key Programme for Government commitment. The Database, when established, will allow Gardaí to link crimes and to identify suspects in relation to unsolved crimes. In addition to benefitting criminal investigations the Database will also be of benefit in identifying missing and unknown persons.
The Minister said, “This new legislation which I have made a priority since assuming office will be invaluable to the Gardaí. The intelligence generated will substantially assist the Gardaí in the investigation of a wide range of crimes including many serious crimes such as homicide and sexual offences. It will also be of substantial help in the investigation of cold cases and will facilitate greater cooperation with other police forces across the European Union in tackling international crime and illegal cross border activities. ”
Minister Shatter concluded by saying that “The overall picture presented in the latest CSO statistics show that despite the budgetary constraints with which we are dealing, An Garda Síochána continues to deliver a first class policing service to the people of this country. The Government remains committed to giving them every possible support to continue this work on behalf of all law abiding people.”
24 September 2013