Belfast Telegraph

Ireland's murder rate up by third

Ireland's murder rate has surged by a third, latest figures show.

Records reveal there were 60 people murdered around the State in the 12-month period up to June.

The figure represents a murder rate of more than one a week, and is up more than 33% on the same period last year.

There has also been a massive rise in child abduction and human trafficking, the Central Statistics Office study shows.

Gardai dealt with 39 cases of abduction of a child under 16 years between last June and the same month this year - up 144%.

There was also a 133% leap in human trafficking offences, up from 12 to 28 over the same period.

The figures show smaller increases in robbery, theft, fraud, deception and drug-related offences.

However, acting Garda chief Noirin O'Sullivan said she welcomed a drop in many crimes, including damage to property and public order offences.

"It is also good to see a 9% decrease in the dangerous and negligent acts category, which has largely been driven by a fall in dangerous driving over the alcohol limit," she said.

But the interim commissioner said the rise in murders was a matter of concern for the force, adding that several arrests have been made in relation to some murders over the past year.

"The majority of the murders.. were not attributable to organised crime," she said.

"However, we remain strongly focused on tackling organised crime in all its forms as we know at first-hand the devastation it brings to communities."

There was a drop in reported weapons and explosives offences by more than 10%, while sex offences were down almost 6% and damage to property dipped nearly 9%.

Serious assault offences also fell, by 4% to 3,015 recorded cases, in the year to June.

Other assault offences were down 3% while harassment complaints dropped almost 14%.

The CSO report shows there were 26,430 burglaries and related offences during the same period, almost identical to the number the previous year.

There was an increase in the more serious aggravated burglaries - up more than 5%.

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