The term "violent crime" covers offences against the person, sexual offences and robbery. During the year 2000–01 a total of 24,323 violent crimes were recorded in Northern Ireland, an increase of 0.7 per cent. on 1999–2000. Overall, violent crime accounted for 20.3 per cent. of all recorded offences during 2000–01, an increase of 7.9 per cent. on the previous year. A rise in the number of robberies was the main reason for this increase, although on a positive front, there was an 11.8 per cent. decrease in recorded sexual offences. Actual figures for the current year are not yet available.
The Northern Ireland policing plan 2001–02 contains nine objectives for policing. In particular, the specific target relating to the detection rate for violent crime has been increased to 65 per cent. from the 50 per cent. target set for 2000–01. The Government are confident that the Chief Constable is doing everything possible within the resources available to him to reduce and deal with incidents of violent crime in Northern Ireland.