Belfast Telegraph

Robbery rate 'nearly nine a day'

Robberies were carried out at a rate of almost nine a day last year, latest figures have revealed.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) recorded crime report shows 3,193 hold ups were notified to gardai during 2010.

The overall yearly figure for robberies, extortion and hijacking was up 28%.

But the number of incidents where someone was held up in person soared 48%.

Alan Shatter, Fine Gael justice spokesman, said the "disturbing rise" in robberies was directly linked to the economic crisis.

"With the economy in crisis and there having been a complete absence of leadership in tackling crime for the last two years, unscrupulous criminals will inevitably target vulnerable people," he said.

The CSO report also shows sex offences surged by more than 60% but it said the massive rise was mainly down to an ongoing review by gardai of all reported sexual offences. Some of these offences have occurred in the distant past but were reclassified last year under the review.

While most types of theft - including theft from a person, a shop or handling stolen property - had increased last year, there was a significant drop in car thefts.

There was an overall 10% decrease in killings, including murder, manslaughter and dangerous driving leading to death.

Justice Minister Brendan Smith praised the gardai for their role in reducing reported crime.

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