Serious incidents rise amidst crime figure fall

THE total number of recorded crimes in the Kildare Garda division fell by almost eight percent between 2008 and 2011, official figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

THE total number of recorded crimes in the Kildare Garda division fell by almost eight percent between 2008 and 2011, official figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

But underneath the headline figure, there were significant percentage increases in a number of more serious crimes.

While the population rose by an estimated 7.5% between 2008 and 2011, the total number of recorded crimes fell from 21,309 to 19,703 in that period.

Recently there has been criticism of Kildare’s Garda to population ratio, one of the lowest in the State. Each Kildare Garda serves 664 people, compared to 390 for the State as a whole.

Between 2008 and 2011, the largest category of crime, theft and related offences grew by 3.7% in Kildare to 3,112, while burglary- related offences increased 20% to 1, 690.

There were falls in the the number of public order offences, down 14% to 1,249, in damage to property, down 13% to 1,497 and in controlled drug offences, down 50% to 647.

But all of the above, except for public order offences, increased by at least 30% in the seven years from 2004, at a time when the population grew by a fifth.

Since 2008, fraud and deception incidents rose 6% to 186.

Sexual offences increased 31% to reach 76 in 2011. Most of these were rape charges.

The category of “attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassment or related offences” grew 6.3% to 719 between 2008-11.

The relatively serious crime of assault causing harm increased by 22% to 174 incidents in the same period.

Robbery, extortion and hijacking incidents rose 43% to 113 in the three years to 2011. There was a 250% rise, growing to 21 in the number, of offences of possessing articles with intent to commit crime.

Drug wise, there was a 220% rise to 16 the number for cultivating or manufacturing illegal drugs.

Liquor licensing offences were down 66% from 81 in 2008 to 44 in 2011 and drink driving offences fell by about 53% to 314.