Written answers

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Department of Justice and Equality

Crime Data

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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92. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if the issues in relation to crime recording and classification highlighted by the Garda Inspectorate in the report published on 11 November 2014 have been adequately dealt with; when recorded crime statistics will be forwarded to the Central Statistics Office for publication; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13552/15]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, the CSO has previously indicated that it is carrying out a detailed analysis of certain issues raised by the Garda Inspectorate in relation to the recording, classification and reclassification of crime, to see whether and to what extent they may have implications for the crime statistics which that Office produces.This process is currently ongoing and the CSO has indicated that it has resulted in a delay in publishing the Quarter 3 statistics for 2014.

The Deputy will appreciate that, as the CSO is the independent national statistical agency, the timing and format of the recorded crime statistics which it publishes are matters for it to determine.

The CSO has also agreed to chair an expert panel to examine the Inspectorate's recommendations on crime statistics.The expert panel will review the crime counting and detection rules, as recommended by the Inspectorate, with a view to introducing new national standards. As well as including representatives of the Department and An Garda Síochána, the intention is that the panel will have outside experts with relevant expertise. I understand that the panel will commence its work in the very near future.

I can also advise the Deputy that, while this work is underway, the Garda authorities have put in place a number of immediate measures arising from the Inspectorate's recommendations in relation to the recording of crime. Work is also underway with respect to planning for the necessary investment in Garda technology to support the recording and management of crime information, and to bring outdated paper based practices into the 21st century.

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