Increase in crimes of violence

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There was an increase in crimes of violence in the Sligo-Leitrim garda division in the 12 months covered by the latest crime figures.

The latest statistics published by the Central Statistics Office cover up to the end of the first quarter of this year (the end of March).

The figures for the 12 months from the end of the March 2014 to the end of March this year show increases in sex offences, assaults, robberies and damage to property.

The number of sex offences jumped from 27 to 40, assaults causing harm from 39 to 59 and other assaults rose from 162 to 191.

Robberies (thefts with violence or threats of violence) went up from 8 to 15 and there was an increase in burglaries (break-ins) from 314 to 365.

The number of cases of damage to property rose from 485 to 535, with arson offences rising from 57 to 65.

Also up was the number of drivers caught for drink driving, with the figures up from 11 to 147.

However, the statistics showed decreases in other categories.

Thefts other than robberies and burglaries (such as shop lifting, stealing of or from vehicles, etc) were down from 909 to 758.

Cases of fraud and deception showed a fall from 92 to 74.

Also down were public order offences, from 711 to 649 and the number of people caught with illegal drugs, down from 203 to 181.

The CSO pointed out that it had suspended the publication of crime figures following the publication of the Garda Inspectorate report Crime Investigation in November 2014 which showed irregularities in the way in which crimes were recorded by gardai on PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively).

It said their decision to resume publication “follows the completion of a comprehensive review of the quality of Garda crime administrative data on PULSE”.

They noted that around 18% of crimes reported to gardai in 2011 do not appear to be recorded on PULSE, around 3% of crimes recorded in PULSE in 2011 have been incorrectly classified and some 7% of incidents classified to Attention and Complaints in 2011 (a non-crime category) should have been classified as a crime.

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