Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

New Garda stats show rise in vehicle thefts

New figures from An Garda Síochána show there was a rise in crimes such as vehicle thefts last year when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The provisional crime figures for 2022 showed a rise in some major crimes throughout 2022 – but An Garda Síochána cautioned that comparisons between 2022 and 2021 “should continue to be considered in the context of covid-19”.

Ireland was under Level 5 covid-19 restrictions until May of 2021, with people restricted in where they could travel and many businesses remaining closed for much of the first half of that year.

Gardaí said a “longer trend comparison” with pre-pandemic 2019 figures was advised given the “significant effect on crime” that public health measures had.

We look here at some of the data that should be of interest to the auto and transport industries:

Vehicle thefts
According to Garda figures, there was a significant increase in the theft / unauthorised taking (UT) of vehicles in 2022. Last year saw a 52 per cent rise in vehicle thefts when compared to 2021, and a 17 per cent increase on 2019 figures.

Gardaí said a significant portion of this increase is related to thefts of second hand imported vehicles and the theft of electric scooters.

Meanwhile, the number of vehicle break-ins last year was down 36 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, but up 15 per cent on 2021.

Technology-based fraud offences overall were down 32 per cent in 2022 compared to the year previous, which had increased significantly during the pandemic.

These include: phishing (-48%); account take over (-27%); and card not present (-59%). Gardaí said accommodation fraud has continued to show an increase – up 28 per cent.

Property crime
The Garda figures show that property crime had been trending downwards since the end of 2015.

This trend flattened in 2019 but took a further downward turn in 2020. However, an increase of 36 per cent was observed in 2022 compared with the previous year, but generally remains down compared to 2019.

Burglaries to non-residential premises were down 45 per cent last year compared to 2019, but they did jump 15 per cent on 2021.

Gardaí claim that burglaries have been trending downwards, particularly since the commencement of ‘Operation Thor’ in November 2015.

According to An Garda Síochána, 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.

It has successfully reduced the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property related crime since its introduction in 2015.

Criminal damage
Gardaí said criminal damage incidents trended downwards from 2015 to 2018 and appeared to stabilise in 2019. They add that prior to the pandemic, there were signs of resumption of this downward trend.

The figures show there was an increase of 11 per cent in 2022 compared with the previous year.

As with theft offences and crimes against the person, 2021 saw a steady increase in conjunction with the gradual easing of covid restrictions.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels of criminal damage in 2019, reported criminal damage in 2022 was two per cent lower.

Road deaths
During 2022 there were in excess of 50,000 road traffic collisions reported to An Garda Síochána.

There was a 20 per cent increase in fatal road traffic collisions last year compared to 2021, and a 13 per cent rise on pre-pandemic 2019, according to the Garda figures.

35 people have been killed on Irish roads so far in 2023, four more than at this stage last year. 19 of these were behind the wheel at the time of the collision.

Garda add that over 7,750 drivers were arrested during 2022 for driving while intoxicated – four per cent more than throughout 2021 and just a one per cent drop on 2019.