Organized crime has fallen victim to the recession in Ireland – but sexual offenses are up over 50 percent in the last five years according to a new survey.
The rate of increase in sexual offenses was the largest percentage change of any of the 16 main crime categories analyzed between 2008 and 2012 by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office.
Their report studies the rates of crime recorded by Irish police over the five year period.
The study says organized crime rates have fallen significantly since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger.
The statistics show declines in drug and gun offenses among the most significant of any crime category during a five-year period studied in new research.
The Irish Times reports that overall crime has decreased, in some categories by more than 40 percent.
But the number of recorded burglaries increased in the period when the economy went from boom to bust.
Sexual offenses also increased by a very considerable 51 percent.
The report says victims of sex crimes have become more willing to come forward in recent years. The CSO also reports that the way the offenses are recorded has improved with the threshold of what constitutes a sexual offense having been lowered.
Other key areas have seen drug crime drop by 30 percent while cases involving the illegal possession of a firearm or illegal discharging of a weapon have dropped by 42 percent.
A police source told the paper: “You have a lot of gang members and gang leaders who were active in the past few years in places like Dublin and Limerick either in prison now or shot dead.”
Homicide offenses declined by 11 percent, murder attempts and threats were down by 18 percent while kidnapping and related offenses increased by 32 percent with just 101 such crimes in 2012.
Drug crime and public order crime involved 16,000 and 41,000 recorded offenses respectively in 2012.
The paper reports that robbery and related offenses were up 23 percent between 2008 and 2012, burglaries increased by 14 percent, thefts were down 1 percent, fraud offenses decreased by 7 percent, public order offenses fell by 29 percent, while road traffic offenses declined by 43 percent.