There was a significant year-on-year decline in the number of sex crimes recorded by Gardai in Louth in 2019, according to the latest quarterly figures released by the Central Statistics Office.
There was a 17.5% drop in the number of sex crimes, including rape, reported to Gardai in the last calendar year compared to 12-month period in 2018. There were a total of 198 such crimes recorded by Gardai across the Louth division last year, with 240 in 2018. Since 2017, Louth’s Garda Division has been home to a dedicated Protective Service Unit which deals specifically with child abuse, domestic abuse and sex crimes.
The unit was originally based in Dundalk Garda Station but has since moved to a specially purposed building a Castlebellingham Garda Station. Crimes reported to – or which become known to – Gardai are recorded as crime incidents if a Garda officer determines that, on the balance of probability, a criminal offence defined by law has taken place.
The 2018 figure was the highest in the county since 2009 when there were 288 instances of sex crimes recorded in Louth. A sex crime can include rape, sexual assault, incest, gross indecency and offences related to child pornography.
There were 90 recorded instances of rape or sexual assault last year, with 106 in 2018. In 2009, there were 138 recorded cases of rape or sexual assault – the highest figure on record this century.