The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today (Thursday 17 May) published its annual crime statistics for 2017/18. There were 98,301 crimes recorded by the PSNI, a marginal rise of 0.3% crimes on the previous year 98,041 but remaining the second lowest total recorded since 1998/99.
Commenting on the statistics, Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to ‘Keeping People Safe’ and the figures show reductions in a number of crime types such as burglary, robbery, criminal damage and theft, a number of which have fallen to their lowest levels.
“Today’s figures show a snapshot of the crime types which we are dealing with but it is also important to acknowledge that although the statistics show a number of reductions, demand on policing is increasing and becoming more complex as less visible, more complex crimes such as public protection and cyber-crime reports increase.
“An indication of our commitment to ‘Keeping People Safe’ is the 23.9% increase in drug seizures. There were 6,872 drug seizure incidents during 2017/18, compared to 5,546 incidents recorded in 2016/17. We are removing more drugs off our streets and reducing the harm to our communities and bringing those responsible before the courts. In 2017/18 there were 3,121 people arrested for drug related offences, this is 15.5% higher than 2016/17 and equates to 419 more arrests than the previous year.”
There were 29,913 domestic abuse incidents reported in 2017/18, an increase of 2.6% or 747 incidents. This is highest level recorded since 2004/05. The number of crimes with a domestic abuse motivation also reached a record high at 14,560 in 2017/18, up by 4.5% on the previous year.
Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said: “We welcome the increase in reports and believe that this shows increasing confidence in the police service. It also reflects our continued commitment to working in partnership with many statutory and voluntary organisations to increase reporting and improve our response to victims of domestic abuse. Despite the rise in the number of reported incidents we still believe that a large number of domestic incidents are going unreported. I would encourage anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to come forward and report it to police.”