Sexual offences on the rise in Limerick

 Incidents of rape and sexual assault up by almost 40% last year

David Hurley


David Hurley

Sexual offences on the rise in Limerick

Henry Street garda station was the busiest in Limerick last year, according to the CSO figures

THE number of sexual offences reported in Limerick increased by more than 40% last year, new figures have revealed.

According to the latest Recorded Crime Offences from the Central Statistics Office, there were 112 reported incidents of rape or sexual assault during 2015 – up from 68 in 2014.

There were a further 10 incidents of what are described as “other sexual offences” over the 12-month period.

A total of 86 sexual offences were reported to gardai in Limerick in 2013 while 152 were reported in 2012.

The CSO figures show that several other categories of crime also increased locally in 2015.

For example, the number of incidents of firearms being discharged increased from 10 to 15; incidents of endangerment increased from three to13; drink-driving offences increased from 280 to 313 and the number reported arsons increased from 97 to 115.

The number of reported burglaries in the Limerick division also increased marginally last year when compared to 2014.

According to the figures, there were 1,106 burglaries reported across the Limerick garda division during 2015 compared to 1,092 during 2014.

This represents a year-on-year increase of 1.28% and equates to just over three burglaries being reported every single day. There were 1,097 reported burglaries in 2013 and 1,221 in 2012.

Nationally, the number of reported burglaries fell last year from 27,365 in 2014 to 26,426 (down 3.43%).

Of the reported burglaries in Limerick during 2015, six have been classified as ‘aggravated’, meaning culprits entered the premises armed with a weapon or impliment.

According to the CSO, there were 276 reported burglaries during the final quarter of last year – three more than the previous quarter. However this was a reduction of 38 compared to the last quarter of 2014.

Eoin Dunne, managing director of PhoneWatch, says the CSO figures show householders need to be be vigilant. “Any burglar is likely to know where keys are hidden in a garden – homeowners are fooling themselves if they think their hiding place is safe. A seasoned thief will always find his way into a property; his job is made easier if the property is not adequately protected by a monitored alarm and secondary or tertiary locking systems on windows and doors,” he said.

A station-by-station analysis of the figures shows the vast majority of reported burglaries last year happened within the Henry Street (291), Roxboro Road (240) and Mayorstone (177) garda districts.

The only garda sub-district where there were no reported burglary in 2015 was Oola.

However, the area covered by Oola garda station is just 16 square miles and has a population of around 1,500.