CSO resumes publication of crime statistics ‘under reservation’

CSO resumes publication of crime statistics 'under reservation'

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has resumed the publication of crime statistics under a new category of “under reservation”.

The CSO suspended the publication of crime figures last summer after data quality issues were identified in relation to gardaí figures on which the CSO relies.

The latest releases have been made out of concern that a lack of figures, accurate or otherwise, has created an “information gap”.

Welcoming the publication, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “It is hugely important for the management of criminal justice policy, and for Garda operations, that we have regular publication of the crime statistics to allow for a targeted response to crime.”

He said the move is “a positive step in returning the crime statistics to the high standard required of our crime statistics by the CSO”.

The minister also stressed that Ireland “is by no means the only jurisdiction that experiences issues regarding the accurate reporting of crime” and would be meeting with senior gardaí management “in the near future to discuss these statistics in detail”.

Mr Flanagan also said figures showing a 17 per cent increase in 2017 of recorded sexual offences was “something this Government is taking very seriously” and would be addressed in new legislation.

He said: “I am currently working to bring forward the publication of the Heads of a Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018. This Bill will increase the penalties for repeat sexual offenders.

“However, I would also make the point that an increase in recorded incidents of sexual assault can also indicate an increase in the reporting of sexual crimes, and I would continue to encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to come forward and report the incident to An Garda Síochána.”

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