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Burglaries in Ireland Before & After Lockdown: How Safe Are Our Homes?

There’s no doubt that 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging years in our recent history. While we will surely think about it in a negative light, statistics for 2020 published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a decline in domestic burglaries and related offences. What’s more, there seems to be a steady decline in the number of burglary-related offences since 2016.

The number of incidents fell from 82,642 in 2016 to 54,951 in 2020.
In addition, the annualised figures show a steady decline in the overall number of burglary and related offences throughout 2020.
Annualised figures for four Garda regions (Dublin Metropolitan, Southern, Eastern and North Western) also show a steady decline in overall burglary-related offences in all four regions throughout 2020.
The quarterly figures for 2020 show that the second quarter saw a decline of 2,062 overall burglary and related offences compared to the first quarter. The lockdown officially started in April 2020, roughly corresponding to the beginning of Q2 2020.

What’s more, burglaries and related offences decreased by 52.8% in Q2 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The figures indicate that the number of burglary incidents dropped sharply in direct response to Covid-19 lockdown.

As for the types of burglaries, the CSO divides all burglary-related offences into three categories:

  • Aggravated burglary
  • Burglary (not aggravated)
  • Possession of an article (with intent to burgle, steal, demand)

Aggravated burglary is defined as breaking into a property armed with a weapon. Conor Gallagher of The Irish Times recently reported on what he called “the rise of a ‘nasty’ crime”, highlighting the fact that this type of burglary-related offence was actually on the rise in 2020 – Q3 2020 saw the highest number of aggravated burglaries in 2020.

Comparing the three types of burglary incidents, the number of burglaries (not aggravated) was the highest overall for 2020, although declining steadily from Q1 to Q4. The number of recorded possessions of an article with intent to burgle/steal/demand was highest in the second quarter.

While we wait for the latest statistics from CSO showing figures annualised for Q1 2021, we can only speculate as to what the trend will be. The interactive counter below visualises the rates at which burglaries and related offences happen in real time, based on published statistics. The rates and the counter will be updated as data for 2021 becomes available.

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