By Cate McCurry, PA
Levels of recorded crime have fallen sharply during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The latest figures show that the number of offences dropped, with burglary falling 45 per cent, theft falling 30 per cent and robbery decreasing by 26 per cent.
The CSO published its latest Recorded Crime statistics, which covered the last year up to the end of March 2021.
There was also a decrease in the number of murders, which fell by 22 per cent, and assaults and related offences, which dropped by 13 per cent.
Criminal damage fell by 11 per cent and public order offences fell by 11.2 per cent.
However, the number of fraud incidents increased in the last year by more than 13 per cent compared with the previous year.
The number of incidents in categories of controlled drug offences increased by nine per cent and weapons and explosives offences rose by seven per cent.
There was also a total of 10,459 offences recorded for breaches of Covid-19 regulations during the first quarter of the year.
This is a marked increase on 1,090 such offences recorded during last year, which reflects the introduction of a new system of fixed payment notices or fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations in December 2020.
The figure includes unpaid fines and other offences, but does not include fines which were paid.
— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) June 17, 2021
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns is further evident in the latest Recorded Crime statistics.
The number of criminal offences recorded by gardaí fell sharply in most crime categories.
Sexual offences dropped by just over three per cent compared with last year’s figures.
Kidnapping and related offences also dropped by 17 per cent, but the number of weapons and explosives offences increased by seven per cent.
Damage to property and to the environment dropped by 11 per cent, while gangland crime was also down.
Statistician Sam Scriven said: “The statistics released today compare levels of recorded crime in the year to March 2021 with the previous 12-month period and highlight the impact of Covid-19 restrictions one year into the pandemic.
“The offences are not included in the statistical tables in this publication due to difficulties aligning them with the existing statistical classification.”