Fraud more than doubled last year, according to the latest annual crime figures released by the Central Statistics Office.

The increase to almost 17,000 offences last year was largely driven by unauthorised transactions and attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone, known as phishing and smishing.

Kidnapping and related offences were also up by more than 27% while sexual offences also increased 12%.

However there was a significant drop last year in serious and organised crime with the rate of homicide halved and reductions of over 18% in weapons and explosives offences and drug crime down over 13%.

Burglaries were also down by more than a fifth, while thefts and other offences were also down (8.4%).

The CSO released the figures "under reservation" which means there are data quality issues in the underlying sources used to compile the statistics.

The figures confirm what the Garda Economic Crime Bureau has been saying as part of its fraud awareness week this week - that there has been a major increase in fraud.

There were 16,929 fraud crimes in Ireland last year, that's 46 every day - an increase of 116% on 2020.

€6m was stolen from Irish companies last year through business email fraud.

There was also an increase in attempted murder and assaults, up over 5%.

Men were mostly the victims of assaults, with three quarters of the victims aged between 18 and 44.

Among women, the highest increase in female victims of assault was between the ages of 18 and 29.

There were however reductions in the other ten of the fifteen categories of crime, particularly in the area of organised crime where drugs, gun and weapons offences were down last year, while homicide, which includes murder and manslaughter, was down 50%.

There were just gangland murders last year.

The CSO also said it is awaiting the outcome of the Garda's investigation into the cancellation of 999 calls to determine the estimated numbers of crimes which were not recorded on the Garda’s PULSE system and the consequent impact on the recorded crime figures.