Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Burglary figures soar during year

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said it 'remains imperative that we confront and disrupt violent and gang crime'

The number of burglaries has soared over the last year with more than 27,600 victims of the crime, figures have shown.

Fraud and deception also rose in the 12 months to the end of June, with 5,578 allegations reported to gardai.

Elsewhere the amount of sexual offences being investigated remains high due to an on-going review of historic allegations of abuse.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter welcomed decreases in 11 of the 14 crime groups released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), but stressed concerns about crime are real and the impact on victims appalling.

"There have been some shocking incidents of serious criminality in the past week including murders which have the full and determined attention of An Garda Siochana," he said. "Like An Garda Siochana, I am determined that those responsible be brought to justice.

"Notwithstanding the positive messages from today's latest 12 months crime figures, it remains imperative that we confront and disrupt violent and gang crime in all its forms and the Gardai have the full support of the Government in this."

Five people died violently across Ireland in the last week, including mother-of-two Anna Finnegan who was stabbed to death, Sligo pensioner Eugene Gillespie who was beaten and tied up in his home, Cork council worker Pat Deasy who was the victim of a serious assault, and two men who were gunned down in separate gangland killings.

Figures showed most types of crime fell over the year. Murders, manslaughter and deaths by dangerous driving were down by 19 to 62, but the CSO warned the number could rise when investigations into all road collisions are concluded.

Almost 2,000 sexual offences were recorded, a slight fall from 2011, while harassment or attempts and threats to murder dropped. Robbery, extortion and hijackings fell by 4.7%, but raids on institutions and cash-in-transit vans rose. There were also eight more cases involving kidnapping and abduction.

Some 3,290 weapons and explosives offences were recorded, a 15% decrease, and the numbers of drug offences, damage to property, public order and offences against State all fell. Dangerous acts, such as drink-driving, dropped by nearly 10%, but eight more people were accused of causing a false alarm or interfering with an aircraft or airport. Elsewhere, theft from a person jumped by 43% to 4,284, and burglaries and related offences rose by 10% with 28,623 recorded.

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