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An Garda Síochána - Provisional Crime Statistics 2021 - 28th January 2022

Issue Date: 28 January 2022

  • Overall Property Crime -10%
  • Residential Burglary -18%
  • Theft from Person -31%
  • Fraud Offences +111%
  • Sexual Offences +10%
  • Crimes Against the Person +4%  

An Garda Síochána publishes provisional Crime data each month in the Commissioners Monthly Report to the Policing Authority. The January 2022 report (here) provides end of year 2021 analysis and commentary on 5-year and 3-year average trends.

Since March 2020, public health measures have had a significant effect on crime, with most types of crime reporting reductions. In particular, periods of ‘lockdown’ level restrictions such as April 2020 and the ‘Level 5’ restrictions (Late December 2020 – May 2021) have had a large impact on many types of crime.

Property Crime - Significant reductions have been observed across a range of Theft category offences while Fraud Offences (Account Take Over fraud, Card not Present Fraud, Investment Fraud, Romance Fraud and Phishing/Vishing/ Smishing Frauds) have shown large increases in reporting nationally.

Burglary has been trending downwards, particularly since the commencement of Operation Thor in November 2015. COVID-19 related restrictions at various times have also contributed to a reduction in burglary figures in 2020 and 2021. Residential burglary was down 18% and burglary occurring elsewhere down 27% in 2021 compared to 2020.

While there has been a decrease in violent property crime, particularly reductions in Robbery from the Person and Aggravated Burglary a large increase has been observed in Blackmail/ Extortion Offences.

  • Theft from Vehicle -29% 
  • Theft of Pedal Cycles -11% 
  • Theft from Person -31%
  • Theft/UT of Vehicle +8%
  • Burglary -21%  
  • Aggravated Burglary -20%
  • Robbery from the Person -22% 
  • Fraud Offences +111%
  • Blackmail/ Extortion  +71%

Operation THOR is a multi-strand approach to tackling burglaries with an emphasis on preventing the crime from happening in the first instance. Operation Thor actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders through co-ordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends. Operation THOR has successfully reduced the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property related crime since its introduction in 2015.

An Garda Síochána has in place a Drugs Related Intimidation Reporting Programme. Garda Inspectors are appointed in every Garda division to respond to the issue of drug related intimidation.  An Garda Síochána in dealing with any complaint of drug related intimidation or advice sought in relation to this issue, will do so with the utmost safety and effective means in order to afford the person or family subject to the threat of the best level of security, advice and support which can be offered.  Most importantly An Garda Síochána will deal with this issue in the utmost confidential and secure fashion.

Crimes Against the Person plateaued in 2020 following a gradual rise over the preceding 3 years. The reported level of crimes against the person was 4% higher in 2021.

  • Manslaughter -67%*
  • Murder -35%* 
  • Murder (attempt) -16%* 
  • Human Trafficking offences +50%*
  • Harassment, staking, threats +23%
  • Assault Causing Harm +10%
  • Minor Assault +4%

*Based on low volumes so percentage change is liable to large variation

Sexual Offences have been increasing since early 2015 and although having plateaued in 2020 this upward trend has resumed in 2021, with a 10% increase in reported sexual offences to November 2021. 

  • Sexual Assault +18%  
  • Rape +10%  
  • Child Pornography Offences +8%  

The increase in sexual offences figures may relate to a change in reporting behaviour whereby victims are increasingly likely to report sexual crime. Furthermore, ongoing efforts by An Garda Síochána regarding improvement of data quality and recording may be a contributing factor to the upward trend in recorded incidents of both Sexual Offences and Crimes against the Person in recent years. It therefore cannot be concluded that the increase in Sexual Offences (in recent years) is solely due to an increased level of incidents occurring.

An Garda Síochána provided data on Domestic Violence and Operation Faoiseamh on Monday 24th January 2022 which showed a further 10% increase in Domestic Abuse Incidents attended to by An Garda Síochána in 2021.  As of the 31st December 2021, 392 Gardaí (all ranks) are full time assigned to Divisional Protective Service Units nationwide.


Criminal Damage incidents trended downwards from 2015 to 2018 and appeared to stabilise in 2019. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis there were signs of resumption of this downward trend. There was a decrease of 1% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Total Public Order (public order and drunkenness) incidents showed a gradual upwards trend starting in mid-2018 and, like other types of crime, has seen a reduction in 2020, which has caused this trend to plateau. There was a decrease of 2% in 2021 compared with 2020 in Total Public Order.

  • Trespass Offences -8% 
  • Public Order Offences  -4%  
  • Criminal Damage -1%  
  • Drunkenness Offences +3%

Drugs Offences (-13%) and Offensive Weapons Offences (-19%) were down overall

  • Fireworks Offences -41%
  • Possession of a Firearm -26%
  • Possession of Offensive Weapon -16%
  • Discharging a firearm -14%
  • Cultivation/ Manufacture of drugs -35%
  • Possession of Drugs Sale/ Supply -16%
  • Possession of Drugs Personal Use -12%

An Garda Síochána commenced Operation TARA in July 2021 although resourcing of Divisional Drugs Units had continued and was ring fenced notwithstanding An Garda Síochánas commitment to supporting the Government response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  As of 31st December 2021, 315 Gardaí (all ranks) are full time assigned to Divisional Drugs Units nationwide.

On the 12th January 2021 An Garda Síochána issued operational statistics on the value of Cash seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB)

  • Cash seized 2021 - €5,639,310 and £38,571 (UK)
  • Cash forfeited to the State 2021 €8,230,886, £142,520 (UK) and $23 (US)
  • Drugs value €63,689,000 (subject to analysis)

Simple Possession of Cannabis was added as an offence that could be considered under the Adult Caution Scheme, commencing on the 14th December 2020. During the period 14th December 2020 – 31st December 2021 in excess of 1600 persons have been issued Adult Cautions for possession of Cannabis.

During 2021 Fatal Road Traffic Collisions and Serious Road Traffic Collisions reduced by reduced by -11% and -2% respectively.  

  • Traffic Collison Fatal -11% 
  • Traffic Collision Serious Injury -2%
  • Traffic Collision Non Serious Injury +14%
  • Traffic Collision Material Damage +15%
  • Driving While Intoxicated -3% 
  • MIT Checkpoints +13%

Operation Teorainn, current Road Traffic Enforcement Operation, commenced on 1st October 2021 and is ongoing into 2022. The general aims of this National proactive Garda Roads Policing Operation are:

  1. The proactive enforcement of lifesaver offences and high visibility of Garda personnel on the public roadways to reduce fatal and serious injury RTC’s
  2. Internal awareness of trends in Road Traffic Collisions and enforcement performance at Divisional, Regional and National level.
  3. Public awareness of the role and responsibilities of all road users in reducing fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions through compliance during the winter months.

As of 31st December 2021, 736 Gardaí (all ranks) are full time assigned to Divisional Roads Policing Units nationwide.

During 2021 An Garda Síochána issued approximately 320,500 Fixed Charge Notices (FCN) including (approximately)

  • Speeding 179,400  
  • Mobile Phones 23,700  
  • Provisional/ Novice Driver 13,500  
  • Seatbelts 7,200  
  • Clearway/ Disabled Bay 5,000  
  • Bus Lanes 4,700  
  • Pedal Cycles 900  
  • Drink Driving Fixed Penalty 565