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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 07:53 GMT
'Huge rise' in violent crime
The report highlights incidence of violent crime
The report highlights incidence of violent crime
Violent crime has risen by 131% in the Republic of Ireland, according to a report released by Irish police.

Figures highlight an increase of more than 1,000 in the number of attacks causing actual bodily harm last year, compared with the 1999 statistics.

The Annual Crime Report from the Garda Siochana (Irish police) for the year 2000 also showed that the number of murders and manslaughters had risen on the previous year's figure.

And the report indicated that there were six rapes each week and four serious drugs offences for every day of the year.


There is a need for a greater emphasis on community policing and a more visible garda presence on the streets

Alan Shatter
Fine Gael

However, figures for burglary, armed robbery and theft from cars were down.

Garda spokesman Superintendent John Farrelly said: "The increase in assaults against persons is a worrying trend, even though the detection rate is 82%."

The sections of the report indicating a decrease in certain crimes were welcomed by Irish Justice Minister John O'Donoghue.

He said it was further evidence that the commitments made by the Irish Government in relation to fighting crime were being delivered.

Criticism

But he added: "I am the first to recognise that greatly improved crime statistics are cold comfort to those who find themselves the victims of crime.

"We cannot allow a return to the type of complacency which gave rise to the highest levels ever of serious crime here in 1995.

"I propose, in particular, to continue to give priority to reducing the level of street crime, which I know can cause so much concern in our communities."

However, the report was criticised by the largest opposition party, Fine Gael.

The party's justice spokesman Alan Shatter said: "The justice minister has failed abysmally to ensure that streets are safe.

"This report confirms that there has been a disturbing increase in street violence throughout the country.

"There is a need for a greater emphasis on community policing and a more visible garda presence on the streets."

See also:

25 Dec 01 | Northern Ireland
Violent crime concerns in Belfast
29 Feb 00 | Northern Ireland
Belfast second in Euro murder league
06 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
'Creeper' car thieves target homeowners
23 Dec 01 | Northern Ireland
Child threatened during shop robbery
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