Latest crime figures show 25% increase in number of kidnappings and related offences

'Other social code offences', of which the majority relate to begging, increased by 176%

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There was a 25% increase in the number of kidnappings and related offences last year.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show that there was a 75% rise in the number of cases of false imprisonment.

There was also a 15% rise in the number of sexual offences, including a 12.6% increase in cases of rape.

A 14.4% increase in the offences while in custody / breach of court orders category was also recorded.

However, there was an almost 30% decrease in the number of murders and manslaughters - the 32 recorded cases marking a decrease of 23 compared to 2014.

There were also decreases in theft and related offences (down by 2.2%) and controlled drug offences (a 4.9% decrease).

Public order offences rose by just under 2% - but this was driven by a huge increase in the number of begging offences.

Other social code offences, of which the majority relate to begging, increased by 176%, driven by the homeless crisis.

Image: CSO