contributing factors of social deprivation and disillusionment in young males, through extra-legal measures, educational programmes and greater economic equality.Figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that from 2008 to 2009 there was infact a drop in the recorded number of homicide offences,
and controlleddrug offences
recorded by Gardaí. This trend appears to be continuing as the latest statisticsreleased relating to crime figures this year also show that there has been an overall decreasein such crimes.
Although this is certainly a positive discovery, the availability of firearms,and the fact that gun crime is often linked with drug offences and organised crime, is still acause for concern and a problem that must be addressed.
Media Reporting on Crime
Given the rise in crime throughout the 1990s and part of the last decade, there has been anemerging tendency for media reporting of crime to incite fear in the general public. Problemswith media reporting have been identified and discussed by numerous critics, and clear evidence is available that people base a substantial amount of their knowledge of crime noton actual crime statistics but on the information they receive through the media.
In someinstances this has created a knock-on effect, whereby an ongoing theme is depicted by themedia, fuelling public fear of a certain type of crime, culminating in calls for legislativeaction to eradicate the perceived problem. As cited by Kilcommins and Vaughan
Source: CSO, Ireland. Homicide offences, 2008: 89, 2009: 88.
Source: CSO, Ireland. Attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences, 2008: 19150,2009: 18353
Source: CSO, Ireland. Controlled drug offences, 2008: 23405, 2009: 21983
Source: CSO, Ireland. Recorded Crime Quarters 1, 2 & 3 2010.
O’Connell, “The portrayal of crime in the media: Does it matter?” in O’Mahony (ed.)
Criminal Justice in Ireland
(Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2002) p251
Kilcommins and Vaughan, “Subverting the Rule of Law in Ireland” (2004)
Cambrian Law Review