Garda did not record 18% of reported crimes on Pulse

Review of crime statistics says CSO will work with Garda to ‘improve reliability of data’

Approximately 18 per cent of crimes reported to An Garda Síochána in 2011 do not appear to have been recorded on the force's PULSE computer system, a Central Statistics Office (CSO) review has found.

The review of Garda crime statistics found issues with the way data is recorded by the Garda.

However, the CSO has decided to resume publication of crime data after a Garda Inspectorate report published in November resulted in a review of crime data collected by the Garda.

In a report released on Tuesday morning the CSO said an examination of sample data showed that:


– about a fifth of crime reported to in 2011 via the Garda computer-aided dispatch system does not appear to be captured on Pulse, the force’s database system used to record crime details.

– one-in-six crimes created from paper records in 2011 did not appear to be captured on Pulse.

– one in 14 offences created on Pulse in 2012 were created more than a week after they were first reported.

– across seven major crime categories including assault, burglary, robbery, public order and theft about 3 per cent of incidents were incorrectly classified to the wrong crime category.

– a further 4 per cent of cases in these crime categories had insufficient information to determine the correct classification.

– 7 per cent of domestic disputes which were classified to a non-crime category should have been classified as a crime.

While the CSO found “some issues” with the way crime is recorded by the Garda, it has decided to resume publication of recorded crime data while advising to consider these issues when interpreting crime statistics.

“The CSO will work with An Garda Síochána to improve the reliability of the data and will repeat this analysis at regular intervals to monitor data quality,” it said.

The release of crime statistics had been suspended for six months due to ongoing examination into the integrity of the data collected by the Garda.

However, crime statistics for the second half of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 have now been released.

The review of the recording of crime statistics followed a Garda Inspectorate report published in November which pointed to an under-recording of crime.

It also said detection rates were lower than those recorded by the force.

The Garda Inspectorate report published in November followed a two-year review which was carried out on a sample study of Pulse records. That review found gardaí were under-recording crime trends by some 38 per cent.

It also identified issues with detection rates: a sample of 2,195 crimes recorded on Pulse showed a detection rate of 43 per cent; however, the inspectorate said the true figure was 26 per cent.

The CSO and the Garda embarked on a review of the recording and data review processes “to assess the extent to which the findings of the inspectorate are reflected in the data made available to the CSO for the compilation of recorded crime statistics.”

A data review team was established and a pilot scheme initiated in three Garda divisions in February to test new data review processes.