Nine out of 10 sexual offences went unsolved by Gardaí in 2018
The Central Statistics Office has released new statistics on crime in Ireland.
Most notably, the numbers reveal that just 11% of sexual offences were detected by the Gardaí in 2018. For a crime to be categorised as "detected", at least one suspected offender must be identified and sanctioned.
Burglary and related offences had a similarly low detection rate of 16%, less than half the rate for theft and related offences, which stands at 33%.
At the higher end of the scale, controlled drug offences were solved in 85% of cases. Three out of four homicide cases were solved, but attempts/threats to murder, assaults and harassments had a detection rate of 32%.
81% of public order and social code offences resulted in punishment for at least one suspect.
The full breakdown of detection rates can be seen below:
Sam Scriven, a statistician with the CSO, said: "The proportion of crimes reported in 2018 which were detected, by the beginning of September 2019, varies considerably by crime incident type, from a high of 85% of recorded incidents in Group 10 (Controlled drug offences) to a low of 11% of recorded incidents in Group 02 (Sexual offences). The detection rate for Murder/manslaughter incidents was 72%.
Scriven also noted that just because the crimes reported in 2018 weren't solved in 2018 doesn't mean they won't be solved eventually.
"Detection rates for crimes reported in 2018 are likely to increase over time as more investigations are completed, as a time lag can be expected in solving crime (preparing files for prosecution, awaiting technical evidence, etc.)."
For example, last year the detection rate for sex crimes reported in 2014 was 22%, but just 8% for sex crimes that were reported in 2018.
The publication is based on data recorded by An Garda Síochána on its PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) and FCPS (Fixed Charge Penalty System) databases. However, such statistics are categorised by the CSO as "under reservation".
By way of explanation, the CSO said: "PULSE data is now subject to a number of separate ongoing quality reviews and does not currently meet the CSO’s standards for completeness and accuracy. The timeline for the completion of these reviews has been extended on a number of occasions and at present there is no firm completion date."