Flanagan welcomes new fraud figures as evidence of Government’s success

Flanagan welcomes new fraud figures as evidence of Government's success

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has welcomed new figures showing a rise in recorded fraud offences as evidence of the success of the Government’s anti-fraud strategy.

Mr Flanagan today welcomed the publication of the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) crime statistics for 2018, which continue to be published “under reservation”.

The number of recorded incidents of fraud, deception and related incidents rose by 18.4 per cent in 2018 when compared to 2017.

Mr Flanagan said: “I believe this increase demonstrates the excellent work that is being carried out by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau in tackling this particular form of criminality.

“This increased focus has led to almost 1,000 extra reports of fraud offences being recorded in 2018 when compared to 2017 and reflects this Government’s commitment to tackling fraud and corruption on every level.”

The Department of Justice recently launched a public consultation on Ireland’s anti-fraud and anti-corruption structures and procedures in criminal law enforcement.

The latest CSO crime figures also revealed a 10.8 per cent decline in homicide offences, a three per cent decrease in thefts, a 11.5 per cent decrease in burglary offences, a 11.3 per cent increase in robbery offences, and a 10.3 per cent increase in sexual offences.

Noting the continuing increase in recorded sexual offences, Mr Flanagan said: “In 2018, a year when there was a significant public focus on sexual assault, there was an increase in recorded incidents and I continue to encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to come forward and report the incident to An Garda Síochána.

“Work is ongoing in my Department to reform aspects of the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence to ensure that complainants are protected to the greatest extent possible.”

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