Interim Garda Commissioner rejects claims that gardaí massaged crime figures

Noirín O’Sullivan says ‘I can assure the public that any crime reported to An Garda Síochána is taken very seriously’

Interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan. “Technology has moved so quickly over the last number of years. In the operating environment of policing, it’s not something we can stand still on”

Interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan. “Technology has moved so quickly over the last number of years. In the operating environment of policing, it’s not something we can stand still on”

 

Interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has rejected claims that gardaí massaged crime figures.

A report from the Garda Inspectorate found gardaí had been under-recording crime trends by almost 40 per cent. In many cases, offences were later reclassified to become less serious offences.

“Crime recording is certainly not an exact science, and it’s something police services the world over are grappling with,” she said last night.

Ms O’Sullivan welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald that the CSO would chair an expert panel to examine the Garda Inspectorate’s recommendations on crime statistics.

“We will work with the expert panel to review crime counting rules as they are now and to look at where we can improve our crime reporting and data integrity around crime recording,” she said. “I have confidence and I can assure the public that any crime reported to An Garda Síochána is taken very seriously. We will ensure that there is absolute follow-up to the victim of that crime and there will be a thorough and proper investigation.”

Systemic failures

The report found “systemic failures” in recording practices on the Garda Pulse system.

Ms O’Sullivan said a comprehensive review of the ICT strategy had been carried out. “Technology has moved so quickly over the last number of years. In the operating environment of policing, it’s not something we can stand still on.”

Ms O’Sullivan said that data integrity units would be set up immediately. “Our focus is on providing a consistency right around the country.”

She said she would be announcing a comprehensive programme of “renewal and reinvigoration” in the coming months that would provide “better than 21st century policing to the people of Ireland”.