Minister Flanagan notes release of CSO Crime Statistics for Q2 2018

 

1 October 2018

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan T.D., today noted the publication of Crime Statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for Q2 2018.

 

The Minister noted that there was no change to the total number of homicide offences committed to the end of Q2 2018 when compared to the same period in 2017 and pointed to the significant work undertaken by An Garda Síochána to prevent further loss of life arising from gangland feuds.  The Minister said: “An Garda Síochána continue to make significant progress in tackling the insidious threat of organised crime, particularly in Dublin’s North Inner-City.  Operation Hybrid is a targeted, proactive response to the ongoing attempts by criminal gangs to commit murder in recent years.  An Garda Síochána are combating those who seek to carry out such shocking murders and prevent further loss of life and I applaud their brave efforts; in particular the prevention of over 50 murders since Operation Hybrid commenced.  I note that the Courts have recently complemented An Garda Síochána in relation to recent high profile convictions for senior members of Organised Crime Groups.”

 

“The success of these Garda operations has impacted on the number of Attempts and Threats to Murder (and related offences) and Weapons and Explosive offences, up 8.3% and 10.7% respectively on the same period last year.  An Garda Síochána will continue to tackle these criminals head on, and this Government will continue to support them in doing so.”

 

While burglaries are slightly down, the CSO figures also show slight increases in other categories of property-related crime over the 12 month period to the end of Q2 2018 when compared to end of Q2 2017.  While Burglary is down 0.8%, Robbery is up 15% and Theft is up 2%.  

 

Addressing the rise in theft and related offences, the Minister said: “While I am disappointed to see the slight increase in theft offences, these figures remain at low levels when compared with the years up to 2016.  For example, the annualised crime figures for Theft in Q2 2015 show 78,830 recorded instances, compared to 68,248 recorded instances in Q2 2018, a drop of 13.4% compared to that period.  I will continue to engage with Commissioner Harris in addressing the issues arising from these crime statistics.”

 

The Minister also noted the slight reduction in recorded incidents of fraud, deception and related incidents when compared to the same period last year.  The Minister said: “I welcome the establishment by An Garda Síochána’s National Economic Crime Bureau of a confidential “tip-line” to allow members of the public report incidents of Corruption and Bribery which might otherwise go unreported.  I encourage anyone with information in this regard to contact the confidential line on 1800 40 60 80.”

 

“This is another important development in the fight against these particular forms of criminality, and ties in with the suite of measures launched by this Government last November to tackle White Collar Crime, the commencement of the Corruption Offences Act 2018 during the summer, and an increased Garda focus in detecting and prosecuting incidents of fraud and similar offences”

 

The Minister highlighted the steady recruitment of new Gardaí since the re-opening of the Garda College and the unprecedented resources allocated to An Garda Síochána, stating: “This Government remains committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime.  We are substantially increasing the number of Gardaí. Since the Garda College re-opened in September 2014, just under 2,200 recruits have attested as members and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide.”

 

“The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2018 stands at over €1.65 billion, an unprecedented sum to enable the Gardaí to better prevent crime and bring criminals to justice.”

 

The Minister addressed the increases in the sexual offences category, which is up 10.2%, stating: The rise in the recorded incidents of sexual assault, and particularly rape, is concerning.  I strongly welcome the reporting of sexual assaults which are generally under-reported and urge victims to come forward. An Garda Síochána are fully committed to tackling this insidious form of violence and abuse.  Recent Garda measures include the establishment of the National Protective Services Bureau which is tasked with improving services to victims of sexual and domestic violence, improving the investigation of sexual and domestic violence incidents, and identifying and managing risk.”


“On the legislative front, last week in the Dáil I commenced Second Stage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018.  This Bill will provide for stricter sentencing for repeat sexual offenders.  I am anxious to ensure that victims have appropriate protections during a court process and I have ordered a review of the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences with an emphasis on vulnerable witnesses.  A review group, chaired by Tom O’Malley, an expert in this field, will report to me by the end of the year.”

 

Commenting on the continuing categorisation of the crime statistics as ‘Under Reservation’, the Minister said, “It is important for the development of criminal justice policy, targeted legislation and for Garda operations, that we have regular publication of reliable crime statistics.  The CSO figures released today remain “Under Reservation” while a resolution is being worked out by An Garda Síochána, the CSO and the Policing Authority.  I want to see that process completed as soon as possible.” 

 

ENDS