Belfast Telegraph

Increase in burglaries and fraud

Burglaries and fraud are both on the rise, according to the latest official figures.

Last year saw an almost 8% jump in the number of burglary and related cases reported to the gardai compared with the previous year.

Over the same period there was also a significant surge in investigations launched into fraud and deception - up more than 6%, from 4,996 in 2010 to 5,311 in 2011.

However apart from a very slight (0.1%) increase in thefts, there was a decrease in all other major categories of crime, the latest Central Statistics Office report shows.

There was an almost 30% drop in the number of killings, including murder and manslaughter, down to 63 from 89 the previous year.

Attempts or threats to murder, along with assaults and harassment, dipped more than 6% while drug offences were down more than 11%. Kidnapping offences also plunged by more than 22%, the recorded crime figures show.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter claimed the figures showed a substantial achievement for law enforcement and crime prevention in Ireland but he accepted there was concern about the rising number of burglary and fraud offences.

"The increase in burglary and some other property offences emphasises the importance of vigilance and effective crime prevention," he said. "The Garda Commissioner has advised me of action being taken to target those responsible for the increase in burglaries and to bring them before the courts and he has my full support in the initiatives under way. It is, of course, also important that the general public puts into practise the excellent crime prevention advice provided by the Gardai."

Mr Shatter said the drop in the murder rate was partly down to a reduction in the number of gangland killings last year. The minister linked the decrease to new anti-gangland measures.

He said the overall figures were encouraging and showed that the Garda authorities are making good use of their resources, despite public spending cutbacks.

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