The number of burglaries in March plummeted by 30% due to the coronavirus lockdown, the Gardai have said, even though the restrictions were only introduced halfway during the month.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, in his monthly report to the Policing Authority, also said sexual crimes were down, and that the number of crimes reported in March had fallen back to 2015 levels. In 2015, the rate of reported sexual crimes began to rise year on year to record levels. The coronavirus crisis had seen a sudden fall in reports of sex crimes, with some 170 crimes reported in March 2020 – down from about 270 per month in previous months.
However, Gardai have said that reports of domestic violence were up by more than 20 per cent.
Commissioner Harris says this is being tackled by Operation Faoiseamh; a dedicated operation which will respond urgently to alerts about domestic violence, and will also keep in touch with known victims and monitor known offenders. Garda inspectors nationwide have taken responsibility for Operation Faoiseamh in each district, and will seek to ensure court orders – including barring, safety and protection orders — are enforced immediately.
It is thought that crime figures for April, a month where the lockdown was in effect for its entirety, will show levels of crime significantly decreasing across the country.