Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (319)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

319. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which crime statistics and figures are published; if he will consider a more localised system of statistics based on postcode areas within the Dublin Metropolitan Region for crime statistics and reports in view of the number of community and residential organisations that are organised in small local communities in which specific crime figures would be of benefit to them and for community vigilance in general; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44658/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, is responsible for the compilation and publication of the official recorded crime statistics, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose.

As the Deputy will be aware, crime figures of the Central Statistics Office currently remain “Under Reservation”. However, it is clear that progress is being made by An Garda Síochána and the CSO in improving the quality of the crime statistics.

The CSO in December 2018 published a third review of the quality of recorded crime statistics, based on data recorded on the PULSE database system for crimes reported to Gardaí in 2017. Among other points, the review concluded that clear improvements had been made in the manner in which criminal incidents were being recorded on the PULSE system.

While this is encouraging, it is also clear that there is more work to be done in this area, My Department, in conjunction with the Policing Authority, will continue to monitor the progress of An Garda Síochána in ensuring that the national crime statistics are returned to the higher standard required by the CSO. The Policing Authority will continue to assess policing performance across the remainder of the year and will publish a full year assessment in early 2020.

I have attached a link to the latest crime statistics as published by the Central Statistics Office on the 27 September 2019.

https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-rc/recordedcrimeq22019/

The Deputy may also be interested to note the CSO Crime Counting Rules document, available at this link https://statbank.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=CJA07&PLanguage=0

That document sets out the approach to recording of criminal offences as being against the Garda sub-district in which the particular offence was committed.

“A.6

A criminal offence should be recorded (and counted) a gainst the Garda Sub-district in which the particular offence was committed. Where the place of commission cannot be determined the offence should be recorded against the Garda Sub-district in which it was reported. Criminal offences under Irish law that are committed abroad (such as those under the Sexual Offences (Jurisdiction) Act, 1996) should be recorded against the Garda Sub-district in which it was reported.”

I understand that it is possible to search CSO Table CJA07, which breaks down data by offence group and Garda station, by post code of the relevant Garda station or indeed by placename.

Any changes to the methodology used to publish the statistics would be a matter for the Central Statistics Office, under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach.