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Murders, robberies on the rise

Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences increased by 24.3 per cent in the first three months of 2010, while drug offences decrease by almost a fifth, according to the Central Statistics Office said today in Dublin.

There were a total of 16 recorded murders in the first three months of this year, an increase of one on the same period in 2009, the Irish Times reports.

For the year to the end of March, there were 55 murders recorded, a 5.8 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

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Offences grouped under the robbery, extortion and hijacking category rose from 676 in the first quarter of 2009 to 840 in the first quarter of this year.

For the year ending in March, there were 1,478 recorded offences of robbery from the person, a rise of 21 per cent on the corresponding period last year.

False imprisonment offences fell from 27 in the first quarter of last year to 19 this year, according to the CSO.

While the cultivaton and manufacture of drugs increased more than 17 per cent year on year to the end of March, possession of drugs for personal use, sale or supply decreased by 17 per cent. Importation of drugs was down 43 per cent.

There were 43 recorded human trafficking offences for the year to March, compared with 18 for previous 12-month period, an increase of more than 138 per cent.

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The number of drink-driving offences also decreased, from 3,737 in the first quarter of 2009 to 2,658 this year. Year-on-year, the number of drink-driving offences fell by almost a quarter.

Dangerous driving leading to death decreased by 38 per cent from 34 incidents to the end of March 2009 to 21 incidents in 2010.