Second crime statistics release delayed

CSO will decide whether to resume publication of figures following analysis

A report published in November found that the Garda Síochána was under-recording crime trends by some 38 per cent. Photograph: Alan Betson

A report published in November found that the Garda Síochána was under-recording crime trends by some 38 per cent. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The release of crime statistics has been suspended for a second time due to ongoing examination into the integrity of the data collected by the Garda.

It comes after a Garda Inspectorate report published in November revealed under-recording of crime and that detection rates were lower than those recorded by the force.

So far, two sets of statistics – those covering the last three months of 2014 which would have been published by the end of March, and the previous three monthsthird quarter three crime data, due for release in December, have been delayed.

In a statement posted on its website last weekthe Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the release of crime statistics had been “temporarily suspended”. The CSO has published crime statistics on behalf of An Garda Síochána since 2005. It said that although the claims in the report related to the work of the Garda, the issues raised “may have an impact on [the] level and classification of CSO recorded crime statistics”.

Because of these claims, “the CSO could not continue to publish official statistics without a detailed examination of the issues raised by the inspectorate”.

It was carrying out a comprehensive review “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.

“On completion of this analysis, the CSO will decide whether to resume publication of recorded crime statistics. If publication is resumed, users will be provided with a comprehensive analysis of the quality of the data source used for statistical purposes and by extension the quality of the recorded crime statistics.”

A Garda spokesman said a data review team had been established and a pilot scheme initiated in three Garda divisions in mid-February to test new data review processes.

“The results of these pilots, along with the findings of the recent Garda Inspectorate [and an expert panel set up following the publication of the report which is chaired by the CSO] will inform the measures to be taken by An Garda Síochána to address this issue,” he said.

The Garda Inspectorate report published in November following a two-year review carried out a sample study of Pulse records 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 Garda detection rate of 43 per cent; however, the inspectorate said the true figure was 26 per cent.