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Sharp falls in burglaries, assaults and sexual offences last year linked to lockdown

There were sharp falls in the number of burglaries, assaults and sexual offences last year, accor...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.31 29 Mar 2021


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Sharp falls in burglaries, ass...

Sharp falls in burglaries, assaults and sexual offences last year linked to lockdown

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.31 29 Mar 2021


Share this article


There were sharp falls in the number of burglaries, assaults and sexual offences last year, according to the latest statistics from the CSO.

The 2020 statistics show burglaries down by more than a third, thefts down by a quarter and robberies down just under 23%, when compared to 2019.

Meanwhile, assaults and related offences fell by 13.2% and sexual offences fell by 10.6%.

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However, the number of homicides increased by nine to 73 last year and there were also increases in drugs and weapons offences.

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee outside Government Buildings, 17-12-2020. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the reductions were “very welcome” but noted that the country spent significant periods of time in lockdown last year.

“There will be no relaxation in the collective effort of the Government and Gardaí to suppress crime as our communities emerge from these restrictions,” she said.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) noted that, while there were fewer assaults recorded last year – there was a bigger fall in assaults on (19%) than in assaults of women (6.4%).

Meanwhile, assaults on women aged between 30 and 44-years-old actually increased.

Domestic violence

Criminologist Trina O Connor told Newstalk that many domestic violence offences are going unreported.

“There has been an increase in one small cohort and that is the age group of 30 to 44-year-old women – there has been an increase there of assaults,” she said.

“That points to the fact that more domestic violence is happening during this pandemic. So actually, while assaults are down, they may be down for males perpetrating violence against each other; however, they are up in domestic violence settings.

She said there are some obvious reasons for the change in this year’s figures.

“Burglary is a crime of opportunity and so many people are working from home so there is simply not enough opportunity for burglars to go in and commit that type of crime,” she said.

“In terms of assaults, alcohol and drugs very often are the things that drive assaults and when you take alcohol and drugs out of it in terms of nightlife and things like that, then it removes that grouping of the types of the types of assaults.”

CSO

The CSO said that, while homicides increased last year, this was driven by an increase in the number of incidents classified as dangerous driving leading to death.

The combined figure for murder and manslaughter incidents actually fell by one compared to 2019.


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Burglary CSO Crime Drugs Gardai Murder Robbery Sexual Offecnes Theft Weapons

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