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18 Aug 2022

Online fraud and burglaries on the rise in Waterford according to latest crime figures

Online fraud and burglaries on the rise in Waterford according to latest crime figures

An Garda Síochána publishes provisional crime data each month in the Commissioners Monthly Report to the Policing Authority

Theft and residential burglary offences have jumped according to the latest garda crime figures, with incidents of theft from a person up by +164%.

Residential burglaries are also up +33% on last year. 

While fraud offences dropped slightly, online fraud was up +128%.

These increases are significant, however, they are skewed somewhat due to figures being historically low in 2021 due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions of varying severity. 

An Garda Síochána publishes provisional crime data each month in the Commissioners Monthly Report to the Policing Authority. 

The June 2022 report provides analysis for the 1st half of 2022 and commentary on 5-year and 3-year average trends.

The latest report had the following findings: 

• Residential Burglary +33% (2021) but remains down -38% (2019)

• Theft from Person +164% (2021) but remains down -46% (2019)

• Fraud Offences overall -2% (2021) but significant increases continue in Online Fraud such as Account Take Over Fraud (+128%), Accommodation Fraud (+58%).  Bogus Tradesman Fraud (+81%) is also increasing.

• Theft/ UT of vehicles show significant increase +77% (2021) and +10% (2019)

• Sexual Offences Overall are down marginally -3% (2021) -1% (2019) but reported Rape has increased +23% (2021) +11% (2019)

• Crimes Against the Person overall +24% (2021) primarily due to increases in reported  Assaults Causing Harm  +34% (2021) +14% (2019)

• The quantity of Drug detections has reduced (Sale/ Supply -30% (2021) -10% (2019) but volume of Drugs seized is increasing (>€37million seized to 30th June 2022)


 
Pandemic lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions resulted in a decrease in crime in 2021. 
 
An Garda Siochana say comparisons between current 2022 data and 2021 should continue to be considered in the context of Covid-19, therefore comparisons are also given against 2019 figures. 

"Public health measures had a significant effect on crime, with most types of crime reporting reductions during the Covid-19 period. In particular, periods of ‘lockdown’ level restrictions such as the ‘Level 5’ restrictions (Late December 2020 – May 2021) had a large impact on many types of crime," a spokesperson said. 

There has been a continued increase (+13%) on Domestic Abuse Incidents attended to by An Garda Síochána reported in the first half of 2022 compared with the first half of 2021. 

As of the 30th June 2022, 392 Gardaí (all ranks) are full time assigned to Divisional Protective Service Units nationwide.
 
Sexual Offences have been increasing since early 2015 and although having plateaued in 2020 this upward trend has resumed in 2021.  Overall Sexual Offences are down marginally (-3%) for 1st half 2022.
 
• Sexual Assault  -5% (2021)  +2% (2019)

• Rape   +23% (2021)  +11% (2019)

• Child Pornography Offences -18% (2021) -25% (2019)
 
Gardai say increase in sexual offences figures may relate to a change in reporting behaviour whereby victims are increasingly likely to report sexual crime.

Furthermore, ongoing efforts by An Garda Síochána regarding improvement of data quality and recording may be a contributing factor to the upward trend, they say, in recorded incidents of both Sexual Offences and Crimes against the Person in recent years.

It therefore cannot be concluded that the increase in Sexual Offences (in recent years) is solely due to an increased level of incidents occurring.
 
Crimes Against the Person plateaued in 2020 following a gradual rise over the preceding 3 years. The reported level of crimes against the person was 4% higher in 2021.
 
• Murder *  +7% (2021)  +7% (2019)
• Murder – Attempt* -25% (2021)  -68% (2019)
• Human Trafficking* -17% (2021)  =% (2019)
• Harassment, Stalking, threats -5% (2021) +17% (2019)
• Assault Causing Harm +34% (2021)  +14% (2019)
• Minor Assault  +32% (2021)  -1% (2019)
• Demanding Payment of Debt*  +50% (2021) +280% (2019)
 
*Based on low volumes so percentage change is liable to large variation.
 
An Garda Síochána has in place a Drugs Related Intimidation Reporting Programme.  Garda Inspectors are appointed in every Garda division to respond to the issue of drug related intimidation. 

An Garda Síochána says in dealing with any complaint of drug related intimidation or advice sought in relation to this issue, "It will do so with the utmost safety and effective means in order to afford the person or family subject to the threat of the best level of security, advice and support which can be offered.  Most importantly An Garda Síochána will deal with this issue in the utmost confidential and secure fashion".
 
Property Crime

The level of property crime has increased across nearly all crime types in the 1st half of 2022 compared to 2021, but generally remain down compared to 2019.
 
• Burglary  +33%  (2021)  -38% (2019)
• Fraud Offences  -2% (2021)  +92% (2019)
• Theft/ UT of Vehicles +77% (2021)  +10% (2019)
• Theft from Vehicle  +17% (2021)  -35% (2019)
• Theft from Person  +165% (2021)  -46% (2019)
• Robbery from Person +32% (2021)  -27% (2019)
• Aggravated Burglary +2% (2021)  -13% 2019)
• Theft of Pedal Cycles +15% (2021)  -4% (2019)
• Blackmail/ Extortion Offences +32% (2021) +227% (2019)
 
Burglary has increased in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 (+33%) but has trended significantly downwards over the long term.

Gardai say major factors in this downward trend are the commencement of Operation Thor (November 2015) and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic (April 2022). When compared to 2019 (Jan – Jun), reported residential burglary in 2022 (Jan – Jun) was 36% lower and burglary elsewhere was 44% lower.
 
Operation THOR is a multi-strand approach to tackling burglaries with an emphasis on preventing the crime from happening in the first instance. Operation Thor actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders through co-ordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends.

Operation THOR has successfully reduced the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property related crime since its introduction in 2015


 
Fraud Offences 

Technology based fraud (Phishing, Account Take Over, Card Not Present, Online Shopping fraud etc..) increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic while most other types of fraud decreased during this time. In 2022 there has been a marked increase in Accommodation Fraud (+58%) and Bogus Tradesman Fraud (+81%).
 
Theft/ UT of Vehicles has seen a significant increase in 2022.  A significant portion of this increase is related to thefts of second hand imported vehicles and the theft of electric scooters.
 
Criminal Damage incidents trended downwards from 2015 to 2018 and appeared to stabilise in 2019. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis there were signs of resumption of this downward trend. To date in 2022 Criminal Damage reports have increased +16% (2021) but -3% (2019).
 
Total Public Order (public order and drunkenness) incidents showed a gradual upwards trend starting in mid-2018 and, like other types of crime, has seen a reduction in 2020, which has caused this trend to plateau.

Public Order Offences have increased in the 1st half of 2022 +20% (2021) but remain slightly lower -3% (2019) pre-covid.
 
• Trespass Offences  +2% (2021)  =% (2019)
• Public Order Offences  +20% (2021)  -3% (2019)
• Criminal Damage  +16% (2021)   -3% (2019)
• Drunkenness Offences  +33% (2021)  =% (2019)
• Demonstrations (non-crime) -10% (2021)  -13% (2019)
 
Drugs Offences (-28%) and Offensive Weapons Offences (-6%) are down overall for 1st half on 2022
 
• Possession of a Firearm -9% (2021)  -15% (2019)
• Possession of Offensive Weapon  -5% (2021) -1% (2019)
• Discharging a Firearm  -6% (2021)  -37% (2019)
• Cultivation/ Manufacture of drugs -58% (2021) -28% (2019)
• Possession of Drugs Sale/ Supply -30% (2021) -10% (2019)
• Possession of Drugs Personal Use -28% (2021) -26% (2019)

An Garda Síochána commenced Operation TARA in July 2021 As of 30th June 2022, 312 Gardaí (all ranks) are full time assigned to Divisional Drugs Units nationwide.
 
Up to 30th June 2022 Divisional Drugs Units and Local Operational Gardaí have seized in excess of €16.4 million Drugs (subject to analysis).
 
Separately An Garda Síochána Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau has seized
 
• Drugs value €20.7 million (subject to analysis)
• Cash - €3.6 million
• 5 Firearms
 
During the 1st half of 2022  Fatal Road Traffic Collisions and Serious Road Traffic Collisions increased by +62% and +11% respectively.
 
• Traffic Collision Fatal   +62% (2021)  +30% (2019)
• Traffic Collision Serious Injury   +11% (2021) -8.5% (2019)
• Traffic Collision Non Serious Injury  +40% (2021) -3% (2019)
• Traffic Collision Material Damage  +45% (2021) +2% (2019)
 
During the 1st half of 2022 there have been nearly 23,400 Road Traffic Collision reported to An Garda Síochána.
 
• Driving while Intoxicated  +17% (2021)  +5% (2019)
 
Over 4,000 drivers have been arrested to 30th June 2022 for Driving while intoxicated offences.
 
As of 30th June 2022, 724 Gardaí (all ranks) are full time assigned to Divisional Roads Policing Units nationwide.
 
Operation Teorainn, current Road Traffic Enforcement Operation, commenced on 1st October 2021 and is ongoing into 2022. The general aims of this National proactive Garda Roads Policing Operation are:
 
• The proactive enforcement of lifesaver offences and high visibility of Garda personnel on the public roadways to reduce fatal and serious injury RTC’s.

• Internal awareness of trends in Road Traffic Collisions and enforcement performance at Divisional, Regional and National level.

• Public awareness of the role and responsibilities of all road users in reducing fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions through compliance during the winter months.

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