More than one person is raped every day in Ireland, latest official figures suggest.
Last year, there were 536 reported rapes across the state – an increase of more than 12% on the previous year.
Sexual offences involving mentally impaired victims, aggravated sexual assaults and other sex crimes are also on the rise.
Overall, there was a 15% jump in all sexual offences – suggesting more than six people are sexually assaulted every day here.
The shocking figures are revealed in the latest Central Statistics Office data, which shows sex offences, kidnapping and fraud are all on the up.
But just over half of categorised crime continues to slide, with a notable drop-off in burglaries, robberies, weapons and drugs offences.
The murder rate has plunged more than 40% – down from 52 to 30 last year.
There were more than 26,000 burglaries, down 5%, more than 2,500 robberies and related offences, down over 2%, while weapons and explosives offences were down almost 5% to 2,365.
Drug crime also dipped nearly 5% last year.
This included a sharp drop in the number of drug smuggling and drug-manufacturing offences, while drug-dealing has also fallen back.
However, last year saw a marked increase in murder threats and serious assaults.
Under the heading of kidnapping offences, there were 93 false imprisonments – up 75%.
There was an 8% rise in fraud and deception cases, up to 5,600.
At the same time, prostitution offences nosedived more than 50% from 129 to 56.
Car theft was down but shop-lifting increased during the year, with more than 22,500 offences reported.
There was a slight rise in public order offences, the CSO report shows.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the figures show important reductions in some of the most serious crimes, including burglary.
But she noted in particular the rise in sexual offences and assault.
“While I welcome the reductions in burglaries and other serious crime categories, the latest crime figures show that we need to maintain investment in Garda resources as well as continuing with the recruitment of new gardai,” she said.
“With the continuing support of communities throughout the country, I am confident that An Garda Siochana will continue to confront criminals and provide protection and reassurance for all law-abiding people.”