Burglary and theft on the rise in 2017 crime statistics

Crimes most common and most relevant to rural communities have seen a rise in frequency over the last quarter of 2017, compared with that of 2016, according to new figures.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today resumed publication of Recorded Crime statistics, following a 12-month suspension resulting from quality issues with regard to An Garda Siochana PULSE data.

Today’s Quarterly Recorded Crime statistics include revisions across all crime groups for the period 2003 – 2016 and are published under a new category entitled ‘Under Reservation’.

In the figures released, burglary and related offences rose from 18,478 in the last three months of 2016 to 19,092 for the same period in 2017 – an increase of 614 incidents, or 3.3%.

Theft and related offences saw a sharper rise, increasing to 69,788 in 2017 from 64,800 – a hike of 4,988 or 7.7%. Meanwhile, robbery, extortion and hijacking offences recorded a 4.5% rise, from 2,098 to 2,192 – up 94 incidents year-on-year.

Damage to property and to the environment also saw a hefty 4.9% increase in frequency, up 1,081 cases from 22,213 to 23,294 incidents last year.

Disappointing

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) rural affairs chairman Seamus Sherlock said: “We’re very disappointed that these crimes seem to be on the increase and we’d be urging rural dwellers, especially farmers, to be ever vigilant as always.

“Just because we’re coming into the summer doesn’t mean that we can slacken off on being vigilant.

“Prevention is still better than cure, so we’d be urging farmers to take a look at their own farm; take a look at what they could do to improve the security of their farm because, let’s face it, once the weather comes good lads will be out working the land, shaking manure and getting ready for silage.

We’d urge farmers to be very security conscious around the farm; not to be leaving gates and sheds open.

Sherlock urged farmers to liaise with the local Garda, adding that the ICSA is adamant that every area should have a community policing officer, who would be in the area and know who should – and shouldn’t – be there.

“It’s not easy to come up with ways of stopping these thefts but if every farmer had better quality locks, and maybe CCTV, if at all possible. I know it’s expensive, but if they could have CCTV, it would definitely deter people coming into the farm.”