IOL: 4% drop in serious crime last year
The number of serious crimes reported to the Irish Police (Gardaí) fell by 4% last year, according to provisional figures published by the Irish Department of Justice.
The total number of murder and manslaughter incidents in the year was down 13% compared to 2003, while the number of reported sexual assaults was down by 28%.
However, there was an increase of more than 20% in the number of more serious sexual offences like rape and aggravated sexual assault reported to the Gardaí.
Publishing the figures today, Justice Minister Michael McDowell also expressed concern about an increase in the number of reported shooting incidents.
However, he welcomed the overall fall in the reported crime statistics, which followed a 2% reduction in 2003.
Reports this morning said the falling levels of serious crime, coupled with a rising population, meant Ireland now had one of the lowest crime rates in the Western world.