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‘Significant reduction’ in crime amid coronavirus pandemic, figures show

The number of burglaries throughout the last three months has dropped by 44% compared with last year, gardai said.

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Gardai said there had been an impact from the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gardai said there had been an impact from the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gardai said there had been an impact from the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a “significant reduction” in crime, gardai have said.

The number of burglaries throughout the last three months has dropped by 44% compared with last year, while the number of thefts from people and shops dropped by 62% and 39% respectively, figures show.

Gardai said that an impact of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic was that thefts have reduced, but crime has not stopped and criminals continue to look for opportunities to exploit.

The number of threats to murder, assault and harassment dropped by 24%, while the number of robberies also fell by 30%.

We have maintained our focus on protecting the vulnerable in the current situationJohn Twomey, Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security

Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security John Twomey said: “During the Covid-19 crisis, gardai have shown their determination to continue to prevent and detect crime, with significant seizures and arrests for drugs, organised crime, burglaries, and drug and drink-driving.

“We have maintained our focus on protecting the vulnerable in the current situation.

“For example, early on we put in place a specific operation to help victims of domestic abuse, as well as encouraging all victims of this crime to report any concerns they have to us.

“An Garda Siochana’s mission is to keep people safe. Every day, gardai show their dedication and professionalism in challenging circumstances to deliver on that mission by protecting and supporting communities.”

Figures also show that sexual offences fell by 38%, while the number of minor assaults decreased by 30%.

However, the number of assaults and obstruction of gardai increased by a quarter.

Domestic abuse calls also increased by 25%, while breaches of domestic violence order incidents increased by 10%, and the number of formal notifications to child and family agency Tusla jumped by 18%.

Gardai said an increase in assault and obstruction of officers and endangerment is indicative of the reported coughing and spitting attacks on members of An Garda Siochana and other persons.

Figures for crimes against people show:

– Burglaries: down 44%
– Theft from shop: down 39%
– Theft from person: down 62%
– Robberies: down 30%
– Trespassing: up 12%
– Possession of an article (with intent to burgle, steal, demand): up 10%
– Fraud, deception and related offences: down 21%

Meanwhile, the figures for online crimes have risen as phishing and smishing fraud jumped by 45%, online fraud by 55% and bank account fraud increased by 56%.

A gardai spokesman said that although traffic levels were significantly reduced, there was not a comparable reduction in driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol offences, with more than 1,900 detections during the three-month period.

PA