Donegal has 3rd lowest crime rate but sex crimes and robbery rates soar

An Irish Examiner review of crime statistics since 2008 shows that the rate of reported crime in Donegal is the third lowest in the country.

The statistics also show that while the county has recorded the biggest overall crime reduction in 2012 there has been increases in certain areas including robberies and sexual offences.

The review of the official figures indicates that Donegal has particularly low rates of crime for offences like burglary, theft, drugs and weapons and explosives.

It has recorded the largest drop in crime in all 21 garda divisions since 2008 with the number of reported offences down more than 39% - that is double the national average.

Donegal does however have comparatively high rates of sexual offences and threats to murder/assaults and harassment.

90 sexual offences were reported in Donegal last year leaving the county with the 3rd highest crime rate for such offences in the country.

Donegal also has the second highest rate in the country for assault type offences while there has been a 40% increase in robberies in Donegal since 2008.

Garda numbers have fallen - there were 427 gardai stationed in Donegal in 2012, down 12.5% on 2008 but the county still has staffing levels above the national average.