There has been a decrease in almost all categories of crime in the 12 months up to March of this year, according to the latest Central Statistics Office figures.

Kidnapping and related offences were among the only crimes to record an increase, which were up 5.8%.

There has been a drop of over 9% in the number of burglary offences in the year to March, compared to the same period in 2012.

There was a decrease of 4.4% of homicide offences.

The number of murders fell from 49 to 43 - a drop of over 12%.

However, dangerous driving leading to death crimes rose by 12.5%.

Dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm fell by 30%, while drink-driving offences fell by over 11%.

Driving while under the influence of drugs fell by 37%.

Drugs offences fell by 12.7%, while manufacture of drugs crimes were down over 17%.

Reported sexual offences fell by 6.8%, but there was no significant change in rape offences, falling from 463 to 462 offences.

Explosives and gun crime fell overall by 11.4%, with possession of a firearm down 14%, while public order offences fell by 12.5%.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said he was pleased to see the hard work of gardaí reflected in the figures.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the reduction in burglary offences was a "clear demonstration of the effectiveness of the measures which the Garda Commissioner has put in place".