Over 20,000 victims of crime in Kerry

Almost 20,000 people in Kerry and Cork claim to have been victims of crime in the last three months of 2003. The majority of these were victims of theft without violence, around 2 per cent experienced some violence or physical assault. The figures have been released by the central statistics office. Almost 8 per cent of the population of the South West say they have been the victim of a crime the last three months of 2003.The region ranks fifth in terms of the numbers of crimes committed nationally. As well as the incidence of crime this survey looks at the perceptions. 50 per cent of people in the south west see crime as a very serious problem, this is a 12 per cent increase in 1998. In addition the numbers claiming they feel safe at home after dark are falling from 53 per cent in 1998 to 41 per cent last year. A further one fifth feel unsafe walking alone in their neighbourhood.The level of reporting to gardai has increased since 1998 and 58 per cent of those who experienced theft with violence made the authorities aware of the crime. The satisfaction rating for gardai in Kerry and cork is one of the highest nationally. Almost half of people say the gardai are good, 15 per cent say they are very good, 22 per cent average, 6 per cent poor and just 2 per cent poor.