ATTACKS on foreign tourists in Ireland increased by nine per cent in 2015, with over 800 visitors falling victim to crime.
According to figures compiled by the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS), there were 445 incidents of tourist crimes and traumatic incidents last year, involving 823 people.
The most notable crimes were theft-related, with 93 per cent of victims being subjected to incidents of either first-person robbery or theft from their vehicles.
In total 42 per cent of incidents consisted of first person thefts, which saw more than €62,000 stolen throughout the year.
In more serious cases there were 17 reports of violent crimes, which included aggregated theft, assaults and robberies.
This saw the number of violent crime against tourists increase by eight incidents when compared to 2014 statistics.
Over 40 per cent of reported crimes occurred in Dublin’s city centre area, where females between the ages of 17 and 25 were predominately targeted.
The figures also show that tourist crimes occurred mostly frequently between 2pm and 6pm, when visitors were most likely to be socialising, shopping or sightseeing.
The new statistics come just a week after Ireland’s Central Statistics Office announced that Irish tourism had risen by over 17 per cent in the period from December 2015 to February 2016.
Although Brits topped the list of visitors to Ireland, the ITAS found German nationals were the worst affected by crime against tourists in the country.
Tourists from 45 countries, including Italy, Britain, France and the United States, were referred to the service last year.
ITAS Chairman Mark Holohan said: “Ireland is leading the way in terms of the support it provides to tourist victims of crime. ITAS is the only dedicated national service in Europe offering specialist assistance to tourists in these situations.”