2020 Crime Stats for Ireland
We review our monthly business crime data to reveal trends and patterns
Every month we update this article with the latest Netwatch crime stats.
01 October 2020
Crime Stats for September 2020
- September marked the first month of autumn and the end of three very busy summer months for our Intervention Specialists. Schools have opened up and hopefully students are managing to settle back in.
- The change in weather brought with it a welcome slowdown in criminal activity on our customer sites; we saw a 21% decrease compared to August.
- However, the activity is up 18% compared to September last year, with criminals taking advantage of the many premises still operating on skeleton staff across Ireland.
- The worst affected sectors, when we compare 2019 and 2020 data for September, are schools (40%), warehouse/factory (35%), office buildings (30%), and building sites (29%).
- The busiest time of the day for criminal activity fell between six in the evening and midnight, and the busiest days of the week were Saturday (17.5%) and Sunday (18%).
Crime Stats for August 2020
- The increase in criminal activity associated with the summer months continued throughout August.
- Total attempts to enter business premises increased by 7% compared to July. Most likely a result of businesses and criminals getting back to their familiar routine.
- Of all the sectors, warehouses and factories were targeted the most with a 43% increase on last year’s figures.
- As businesses are getting back up and running criminals too are picking up old patterns: once again the busiest days of the week are Saturday and Sunday.During the lockdown criminal behaviour on Netwatch sites became more active mid-week because they knew businesses had no staff on site.
Crime Stats for July 2020
- Aside from the long days and time off, the summer months can come with an increase in criminal activity.
- Looking at total attempted breaches across all sectors, July’s figures stayed close to the previous month.
- However, when compared to the July 2019 totals attempted breaches are up 19%.
- The biggest yearly increase in criminal activity was seen at schools and building sites.
- The busiest days of the week for Netwatch Intervention Specialists throughout July 2020 were Saturday and Sunday, closely followed by a sharp increase in activity on Wednesday.
- While Saturday and Sunday are typically very busy, a rise in mid-week activity may be connected to an increase young people out and about. With plenty of free time and a lack of activities due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is a tendency to sometimes gather in groups around different sites. This sort of unauthorised activity is not always a major threat to a business, but can lead to unintentional damage to property – or worse damage to some of the young individuals involved.
Crime Stats for June 2020
- Attempted breaches are up for June compared to the same time last year with office buildings (up 64%) and schools (up 39%) seeing the largest increase in activity.
- A more positive outlook can be seen when June’s figures are compared to May 2020. Our specialists recorded an overall monthly drop in cases of -9.2%. This may be attributed to the ease in COVID-19 restrictions.
- The ease in restrictions has pushed criminal activity back into familiar patterns. The busiest time of the day fell between the hours of 6pm and midnight with 7pm to 8pm seeing the most activity throughout the month.
- However, not all activity has returned to pre-COVID patterns. The busiest days of the week were Tuesday, Monday and Saturday throughout June. Saturday and Sunday are typically the busiest days for Netwatch Intervention Specialists.
Crime Stats for May 2020
- Building site intrusions are on the rise. The figures for May are up 49% on last month’s and up 120% compared to 2019.
- Construction is not the only sector experiencing a sharp rise in attempted breaches. Warehousing (56%), car retail (54%) and retailers (76%) all rose compared to April’s figures.
- The most dramatic increase in activity was recorded for offices and corporate buildings at 87%.
- Aside from a rise in attempted perimeter breaches, May also experienced a distinct change in criminal behaviour.
- The times between six in the evening and midnight are usually very busy for our Intervention Specialists, but in May the hours between dawn and midday were most active. This pattern change is most likely a result of COVID-19 measures.
- With many premises shut 24/7 a certain rise in alarms is to be expected. Once businesses begin to reopen and get back to some normality, we will hopefully see a decrease in unwanted activity.
Crime Stats for April 2020
- Total attempted breaches remained higher than usual in April, very similar to the levels we saw in March.
- Other sectors saw an increase in activity as criminals turned their attention to power facilities, warehouses and car retailers. Attempted breaches rose by 20%, 10% and 5% compared to the previous month.
- The most active times for activity fell between six in the evening and midnight. While this is a busy time for Netwatch Intervention Specialists, activity during this time dropped further in April – likely a result of COVID-19 measures.
- This drop was offset by activity between midday and six in the evening which is typically a quieter time for attempted breaches because businesses are active and fully staffed. This suggests criminals are changing their patterns as they take advantage of extended periods of downtime.
- A similar pattern can be seen when we analyse the busiest days of the week. Saturday and Sunday are always most active for criminals. However, April saw a clear shift towards Wednesdays and Thursdays demonstrating clear changes in behaviour.
- These pattern changes are a continuation of the changes recorded in our March analyses and look set to continue while businesses remain empty or operating on skeleton staff.
Crime Stats for March 2020 – COVID-19 Measures See Spike in Attempted Breaches
- In March, many businesses began shutting their doors in response to COVID-19. This has not gone unnoticed by opportunistic criminals with attempted perimeter breaches increasing by 25%. Our Intervention Specialists are always busy at weekends, and now they say every day feels like a weekend.
- With the recent spurt of panic-buying, there has been huge activity around some retail outlets. The retail sector saw a notable increase in incidents of about 60%, compared to February’s figures. This could be criminals trying to take advantage of shop closures, attempting to steal and resell popular goods for their own profit.
- Building sites had an increase of 15%. With the closure of building sites towards the end of the month, there may be a risk of a rise in attempted intrusions, with people believing there would be high-value items stored there.
- Every month, criminals are most active between 6 pm and midnight. However, incidents between midday and 6 pm increased by 9% in March, suggesting a shift in criminal behaviour. They are no longer restricted to hours outside of normal business activity, many premises are now empty 24/7.
- Another pattern change can be seen in the busiest days of the week. Saturday and Sunday are typically the busiest days throughout the year but in March most incidents were seen on Sunday and Tuesday.
- We may see more activity during weekdays going forward as criminals take advantage of the continued disruption to business operations.
Crime Stats for February 2020
- Daffodils weren’t the only things poking theirs heads up in February, criminals were much more active compared to January figures.
- The most targeted sectors were schools and power utility sites. Attempted breaches increased by 51% for schools and 50% for power substations.
- Car dealerships and retailers were on the opposite end of the scale with a drop in activity of 7% and 25% respectively.
- The busiest hours for Netwatch Intervention Specialists were 6pm to midnight accounting for 35% of all activity and midnight to 6am which accounted for 26% of all activity.
- The busiest days of the week for attempted perimeter breaches were Sunday closely followed by Saturday.
- Criminal activity picks up every weekend because businesses close or are down to skeleton staff during these days and criminals see this as an opportunity.
Crime Stats for January 2020
- Criminal activity slowed down in January after a busy December. Attempted breaches fell by 7% across all sectors.
- Power utility sites and schools sites saw the biggest drop in attempted perimeter breaches. Power was down by 27% and schools by 12%.
- 54% of all attempted security breaches occurred between 6am and midday in January.
- Saturday and Thursday were the busiest days accounting for 16% of activity each.