Publication Of Crime Statistics To Resume - CSO

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will resume publishing Gardaí crime statistics, following a 12-month suspension resulting from quality issues with regard to PULSE data.

The new Quarterly Recorded Crime statistics include revisions across all crime groups for the period 2003 - 2016 and are published under a new category entitled Under Reservation. This new category has been applied to reflect the fact that there are data quality issues in the underlying source used to compile these statistics. This approach of differentiating statistics based on quality concerns associated with the underlying data is consistent with other jurisdictions, such as England and Wales.

In the case of Recorded Crime statistics, the new classification will alert users to the underlying quality deficiencies and inform them that further revisions can be expected as these deficiencies are resolved.

Commenting on the decision to resume publication of Recorded Crime statistics, Olive Loughnane, Statistician said: "PULSE data is now subject to a number of separate ongoing quality reviews and does not currently meet the CSO's standards for completeness and accuracy.

"The timeline for the completion of these reviews has been extended on a number of occasions and at present there is no firm completion date. The CSO is mandated to produce statistical outputs relating to economic, social and general activities, and conditions in the State. Crime statistics form a key part of such information.

"Recorded Crime statistics have not been published by the CSO for a 12-month period. The long-term absence of timely, impartial and transparently produced Recorded Crime statistics creates a vacuum for policy decision makers and for all interested citizens. Therefore, at this time the CSO feels the over-riding public interest is best served by the resumption of publication of Recorded Crime statistics.

"The CSO produces its statistics based on the most objective, transparent and independent data available. Reflecting our concerns as to the completeness and accuracy of the underlying PULSE data, the CSO has taken the decision to resume publication of Recorded Crime statistics using a new category entitled statistics Under Reservation."

Further commenting on the Recorded Crime Statistics, Olive Loughnane added: "Today's revised data shows revisions across all crime groups, but particularly homicide incidents, which have increased by 18% or 234 incidents, from 2003 to 2016.

In relation to 2017, there have been increases in practically all groups. The crime groups showing the largest increases are sexual offences and fraud offences."

Commenting on the likelihood that further revisions can be expected in the future, Olive Loughnane continued: "There is an ongoing review by AGS into the recording of homicide incidents. It is likely that this review will result in changes to the classification of some incidents.

"Data quality issues raised by the CSO in relation to the recording of homicide incidents may also result in further revisions of homicide data. Some of the data quality issues raised could apply to other crime groups.

"The CSO acknowledges the challenges associated with the recording of crime data and the work being undertaken by AGS to address these issues. Robust, trustworthy crime statistics are a vital tool for decision makers and society, and the CSO remains committed to advising and assisting AGS in improving the quality of its data."


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