THE number of sexual offences committed in Kildare decreased by 21.4% at the end of last year, according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office.
The Recorded Crime Statistics found there had been 22 cases of sexual offences reported to gardaí in Kildare from October to December 2018, the fourth quarter of the year, compared to 28 such cases reported in the same quarter in 2017.
This is also a decrease from the third quarter figures, which saw 26 cases of sexual offences reported in Kildare from July to September 2018.
While Kildare saw a decrease in reported sexual crimes, there was a 10.3% overall increase in sexual misdemeanours reported throughout Ireland in late 2018, with a total of 3,182 such incidents recorded, 298 more than late 2017, which recorded 2,884 offences.
Of the 22 reported sexual offences, 19 of those were for cases of rape or sexual assault.
The Central Statistics Office also reported a drop in the number of harassment and other related offences recorded in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2018. A total 18 cases of harassment were reported to Gardaí throughout Kildare county from October to December 2018, compared to 21 harassment reports from July to September 2018.
The CSO reported a 38.5% increase in recorded cases of harassment in Kildare between the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2017.
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan noted that an increase in recorded incidents of sexual offences occurred in “a year when there was a significant public focus on sexual assault” and said his department was working to “reform aspects of the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence to ensure that complainants are protected to the greatest extent possible.”
All statistics from the Recorded Crime report for the fourth quarter are classified as “Under Reservation” by the CSO, meaning the quality of the data provided by the underlying sources, including the PULSE system, is under review until the data can be considered “sufficient” and “accurate”. Further revisions may be expected.