The latest recorded crime figures from the CSO show that more than 70 burglaries or related offences were committed every day in the past three months.

The impact of the recession is evident in the figures, which reflect the continuing increase in crimes against property.

Incidents of burglaries, attempted burglaries or cases where people were caught with tools for burglaries increased 8.5% over the past three months.

Kidnapping and related offences were up and there was an increase in bank, post office and cash-in-transit robberies.

However, there was a decrease in every other category of serious crime, including gangland crime.

Murder was down over 40%, drugs offences dropped 15%, explosives and gun crime was down over 11% and sexual offences decreased by over 21%.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he welcomed the reduction in the murder rate.

Minister Shatter said: "I welcome the positive picture shown by these latest statistics. In particular, I welcome the reduction of almost a half (42.1%) in homicide offences in the quarter, which includes a reduction of almost a tenth (9.1%) in the number of murders.

"Also very encouraging are the reductions in the categories of controlled drug offences (down 15%) and weapons and explosives offences (down 11.3%)."