Criminal justice statistics are the responsibility of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and, in the case of crime, prisons and probation statistics, are published in annual reports. Some statistics on the criminal justice system are also published annually by the Central Statistics Office in its statistical abstract.
Under the Statistics Act, 1993, the Central Statistics Office has the authority to co-ordinate statistics compiled by other public authorities. However, its right to access the records of public authorities does not extend to the records pertaining to a court, the Garda Síochána or the prison administration. While administrative records provide valuable information on reported crime, it is the view of the CSO that estimates of actual, as distinct from reported, crime could be based only on national representative surveys.
In September, the CSO launched the new quarterly national household survey, which will be an important source of statistics about the population, households and the labour market. It involves surveying 39,000 households per quarter throughout the country. Consideration is being given to including a module on crime in this survey for a future quarter.