No CSO crime data until Garda homicide review complete

Policing Authority still to get report on homicide figures two months after requesting it

A total of 41 homicides between 2013 and 2015 were reviewed because Garda analysts found some form of classification issue with them

A total of 41 homicides between 2013 and 2015 were reviewed because Garda analysts found some form of classification issue with them

 

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has suspended the publication of any further crime figures for the Republic until a Garda review into homicide cases is completed.

It is only the second time the CSO has suspended publication of crime data since it assumed responsibility for it in 2006.

The Irish Times has also learned that two months after requesting a report from the Garda on the accuracy of homicide figures, the Policing Authority has yet to receive it.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and her senior team will be asked to account for the delay at a public session of the authority on Thursday.

The authority also wants to know what errors or omissions have been found in the homicide figures examined by the Garda.

In response to queries on Tuesday night, the authority said it noted the decision by the CSO to cease publishing quarterly crime statistics.

“The authority is awaiting a final report on this matter from the Garda Síochána, but this has not yet been received,” the statement added of the Garda homicide figures review. “The matter is on the agenda of the authority meeting to be held in public this Thursday.”

Queries to the Garda about its review of the homicide data had not been answered by Tuesday night.

Postponed

The latest set of CSO crime figures for all crime types for the first quarter of this year was due for release on Wednesday. However, the CSO confirmed the publication had been postponed. No further crime data will be published until the Garda examination of homicide figures is complete.

“There was a review of the homicides, and we are still waiting for an updated set of data with any changes absorbed into that,” a spokesman said.

The only other time the CSO suspended the publication of crime data was for about eight months from late 2014 after the Garda Inspectorate had flagged concerns at the time about the way the Garda was classifying some crimes.

Ms O’Sullivan and her senior team are likely to face many questions about the homicide data on Thursday at the Policing Authority.

At the April meeting there were sharp exchanges between chair Josephine Feehily and Ms O’Sullivan on the issue.

It emerged at the meeting that a total of 41 homicides between 2013 and 2015 were reviewed because Garda analysts found some form of classification issue with them.