Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (663)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

663. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the latest statistics from the Courts Service on prosecutions and convictions relating to fraud within the personal injuries area in accordance with recommendation 12 of the Cost of Insurance Working Group report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31584/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As noted in the most recent progress report from the Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG), published on 19 July 2019, it was agreed that the statistics referred to by the Deputy would be provided by An Garda Síochána rather than by the Courts Service, as had been originally envisaged by the CIWG. This data flows from the new 'insurance fraud' data category introduced to An Garda Síochána's PULSE system on 1 November 2018.

Access to the CIWG's progress report published last week is available at the following link: https://assets.gov.ie/19322/8404160a5cc44b53b482c34ac1316f3b.pdf (See pages 34 and 35 of the progress report).

In relation to the scale of insurance fraud reported to An Garda Síochána, the most recent figures available to my Department indicate that, in the period 1 November 2018 to 31 May 2019, 50 incidents of insurance fraud were recorded on PULSE (This data is correct as at 6 June 2019, however data is operational and, therefore, subject to change). 50% of these incidents relate to staged collisions and 18% relate to forged documentation concerning no claims bonuses.

As outlined by the Deputy Garda Commissioner and Chief Superintendent of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) at the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform's discussion on insurance fraud on 9 July, decisions relating to prosecution are awaited in the case of some of the 50 incidents I have mentioned, while other incidents are still in the early stages of investigation.

I understand that An Garda Síochána has committed to providing further statistical data to the Joint Committee at a future date. I too have asked for sight of this data, once compiled.