Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peace breaking out all over Ireland

With lots of gloomy economic news these days it is great to see crime rates continuing to fall in Ireland. In Quarter 2 of 2011, recorded crime rates fell for every crime group compared with the same quarter last year:

Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences: -15%
Dangerous or negligent acts: -26.3%
Burglary and related offences: -1.4%
Theft and related offences: -5.5%
Fraud, deception and related offences: -11.2%
Controlled drug offences: -19.1%
Weapons and explosives offences: -24.9%

Some commentators had predicted increases in crime due to the recession. This may be correct for some offences, burglary for example is still higher than it was in 2009, though down slightly from 2010.

But during the boom years Ireland experienced increases in some forms of crime that were directly related to the presence of surplus income. Drug and alcohol use soared, fuelling both drunken brawls and drug gangsterism. Declining economic fortures make drugs less profitable, alcohol less affordable. Some of the young men who used to be involved in crime have probably emigrated. Falling traffic levels probably play a role in dropping road deaths.

These are positive developments and a reminder that bad news in one aspect of society can mean good news in another.

2 comments:

  1. maybe even criminals realise that the risk/reward ratio is dwindling :P.

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  2. Perhaps indeed :)

    Although I suspect some of it has to do with drinking patterns. With less binge-drinking there are fewer ordinary people getting into fights in town centres on Saturday nights. I'd be interested to see if this has an impact on the health system, considering hospitals were notoriously crowded during the boom years.

    Apparently the population is still growing, though, and health spending is being cut, so we probably won't see much improvement.

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