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Thursday 5 December 2019

Gang-related murders now account for 1 in 4 killings across Ireland

Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar
Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar

More than a quarter of the murders committed in Ireland in the past year were linked to gangland-related feuds, CSO figures show.

Thirty-six people lost their lives to violence in the 12 months to the end of June, 10 of them in gangland-linked attacks. There were 46 violent deaths in the previous corresponding period.

However, gangland killings across the country are still prevalent.

Hitman

At the end of May, Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar (41) was shot multiple times in Coolock, outside the home of Sean Little (22), who was also killed in the same month.

A few days earlier, father-of-one Jordan Davis (22) was shot in the head as he pushed his baby son in a pram near his home in Darndale.

Last January, convicted drugs dealer Zach Parker (23) was shot dead as he left a gym in Swords. The month before, Eric Fowler (34) was gunned down outside his home in Blanchardstown.

While the number of those caught in possession of firearms was down in the latest figures, shootings were up 14pc.

A total of 4,479 people were caught drug dealing, while 1,789 were arrested in relation to possession.

More than 3,000 sexual offences in the year to June were reported to gardai. The offences, the highest number on record, reveal a rise of 9.2pc compared with the previous 12-month period.

A total of 820 rapes and 175 cases of child sexual abuse were reported to gardai.

Convicted drug dealer Zach Parker
Convicted drug dealer Zach Parker

It has been claimed that the MeToo movement could be behind the increase in the number of sex crimes reported.

Last year, there was also a 10pc rise, with many crediting the numerous high-profile arrests for the increase in the number of complainants coming forward.

Noeline Blackwell, of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said she believes the number of sexual offences is substantially higher than yesterday's figures.

Confident

"We believe sexual offences are one of the most under-reported areas of crime," she said.

"Last year, our help-line received over 7,000 first-time callers - more than twice as many cases reported to the gardai.

"But we also think that more people are confident to speak out and are able to recognise when a sexual assault happens to them or someone they know."

The number of fraud offences rose by 34.4pc in the 12-month period, from 5,405 to 7,265.

Drug offences increased by 16.5pc, from 17,304 to 20,153.

The number of burglary and related offences was down 9.8pc in the year to June, from 18,416 to 16,617.

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