The number of sexual offences recorded in 2021 was 75% above the rate seen when Fine Gael were elected in 2011. That’s according to an analysis of CSO recorded crime statistics undertaken by Gript. That analysis showed that there were 3,433 reported sexual offences in 2021, compared against 1,958 in 2011.
The number of rapes reported has increased from 447 in 2011 to 893 in 2021 – an increase of 100%.
Whilst there have been coalition and minority governments since the 2011 election, every Minister for Justice since 2011 has been a member of Fine Gael. Helen McEntee currently holds the office.
COVID-19, and the lockdowns over 2020 and 2021, make it difficult to map trends in relation to certain crimes, but the increase in reported sexual offences has been ongoing nearly year on year since FG were elected, with only 2013 and 2020 bucking the trend of year on year increases in the number of sexual offences recorded.
Whilst some of that may be due to increases in the population of Ireland, the 2011 and 2022 censuses show us that Ireland’s population only increased by about 11% over that period. That is a substantial increase in population, but nowhere near the number required to explain the increase in sexual offences recorded.
2008 saw the lowest level of reported sexual offences in recent times, with 1,269 such offences being recorded that year. The 2021 sexual offence figures represent an increase of nearly 175% in less than 15 years.
Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassment, and related offences have also increased by roughly 20% over FG’s period in government. In 2011 there were 16,605 such offences recorded, raising to 20,149 in 2021.
Kidnappings have also increased substantial over the period, with 170 kidnappings reported in 2021. That’s against 115 kidnappings in 2011, a rise of roughly 50%.
Burglaries and related offences have fallen sharply over FG’s tenure, from 28,207 in 2011 to 8,586 in 2021. Whilst COVID likely explains the sharp decrease in burglaries over 2020 and 2021, the rate had declined to 16,772 in 2019, and so it appears that there is a significant downward trend outside of the impact of COVID.
Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences have fallen by roughly 40% over the period. In 2011 2,953 such offences were recorded, against 1,729 in 2021.
Homicide has similarly declined, from 63 in 2011 to 39 in 2021. The Irish homicide rate is rather variable, given the low number of homicides per year in Ireland, and it’s unclear if these movements represent a trend. 2020, for instance saw 78 reported homicides; 2019 saw 50; and 2018 saw 80.