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Crime Data

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 July 2020

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Questions (578, 597)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

578. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of thefts of domestic dogs and-or pets reported to An Garda Síochána in the past three years to date. [16619/20]

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Johnny Mythen

Question:

597. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of dogs registered as stolen between 2018 and 2020, by county in tabular form; the number of convictions and fines associated with these thefts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17125/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 578 and 597 together.

I have been informed by the Garda Authorities that, regrettably, it is not possible to provide a breakdown of such thefts to divisional level as to do so could allow for the identification of injured parties.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following are the approximate number of domestic dogs and/or pets reported stolen to An Garda Síochána in 2018, 2019 and up to 15 July 2020.

Dog Theft Incidents

Garda Regions

2018

2019

2020*

Dublin Region

20

13

8

Eastern Region (NEW)

79

82

57

North Western Region

5

16

15

Southern Region (NEW)

41

94

40

National Total

145

205

120

I am further advised that these figures are approximate as they are based on descriptions given on the PULSE system.

As the Deputy may be aware, on 9 July 2020, An Garda Síochána appealed to the public to take extra crime prevention measures when it comes to caring for their pets, particularly high-value breeds of dogs, following the reporting of a number of dog thefts in recent months. A range of measures for pet safety, recommended by the National Crime Prevention Unit, can be found on the Garda website at https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/dog-theft-crime-prevention-advice.html.

I am further informed by the Courts Service that the ability to pull together data in response to the Deputy's question is dependent upon being able to isolate animal theft in their records over any other type of theft. For other offences, this is possible because the offence type has a specific code on An Garda Síochána's PULSE system, which the Courts Service use for populating their own records.

I understand that there is no specific code on PULSE for theft of animals. The same code is used for all types of theft and it would require the checking of individual records within the Courts Service to separate out theft of animals from other types of theft. Given the numbers of offences of theft every year, this is too onerous a task to narrow down over the three year period the Deputy has requested.

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