10% increase in reported sexual offences in Ireland last year 3 months ago

10% increase in reported sexual offences in Ireland last year

An Garda Síochána says this may be because "victims are increasingly likely to report sexual crime".

An Garda Síochána's provisional crime statistics for last year show a 10% increase in reported sexual offences in the 12 months to November 2021 compared to the previous 12 months.

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According to Gardaí, public health measures since March 2020 have had a significant effect on crime, with most types of crime reporting reductions.

In 2021, reports of theft from person, residential burglary and overall property crime saw a decrease of 31%, 18% and 10% respectively.

Also, drugs and offensive weapons offences were down overall by 13% and 19%.

However, reports of fraud offences rose by 111%, including account takeover fraud, card not present fraud, investment fraud, romance fraud and phishing, vishing and smishing frauds.

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Meanwhile, an increase was also observed in reports of blackmail and extortion offences of 71%.

Gardaí say the reported level of crimes against the person was 4% higher in 2021.

While manslaughter and murder were down by 67% and 35%, human trafficking and assault causing harm offences were up 50% and 10%.

Reporting of offences relating to harassment, stalking and threats also rose by 23%.

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An Garda Síochána stated that sexual offences have been increasing since early 2015 and that, although figures plateaued in 2020, the upward trend resumed in 2021, with a 10% increase in reported sexual offences in the 12 months to November.

Reports of sexual assault, rape and child pornography offences rose by 18%, 10% and 8%.

"The increase in sexual offences figures may relate to a change in reporting behaviour whereby victims are increasingly likely to report sexual crime," An Garda Síochána said in a statement.

"Furthermore, ongoing efforts by An Garda Síochána regarding improvement of data quality and recording may be a contributing factor to the upward trend in recorded incidents of both sexual offences and crimes against the person in recent years.

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"It, therefore, cannot be concluded that the increase in sexual offences in recent years is solely due to an increased level of incidents occurring."

Data also showed a further 10% increase in domestic abuse incidents attended to by An Garda Síochána in 2021.