18% increase in homicide figures evidence of 'serious flaws in Garda Data' - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has responded to the publication by the CSO of revised Garda Homicide statistics, which has identified the apparent misclassification of 234 cases over a 14 year period spanning from 2003 to 2017.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“It is clear for an extended period of time that there have been issues in the Gardaí in relation to the recording of Data, and the fact that accurate recording of data has not been taken seriously enough.
"This goes back to breath tests, and to the inaccurate recording of Homicides.
“The recent hearings at the Joint Oireachtas Justice Committee, where two brave women from the Garda Data Analysis service spoke of the manner in which their concerns about Data Quality were initially dismissed, and they state that they were put under pressure to accept data they had serious concerns.
“It appears we are far from at the end of this, as we consider the comments from the CSO that there are likely to be further revisions, that they have ongoing concerns about the quality of data, and that those concerns are not confined to the homicide group of crimes.
“So it appears the flaws run very deep. Accurate reporting of crimes is vitally important. It is important so that the public can have confidence in the Gardaí, that all crimes are properly categorised and properly investigated, and I believe the priority has to restore faith in Garda Data.
“It is also important because it is crucial to tackling crime.
“The Gardaí must prioritise rectifying this, and I am also anxious that the review in to the potentially misclassified Homicide cases is completed and published as a matter of urgency.
“The data also underlined rises in crimes in practically every category, in particular sexual offences and fraud offences.
“That is a cause for concern, and we need to ensure the Gardaí have the adequate resources to tackle crime, and we must reverse the cutbacks to numbers, particularly to Community Gardaí, but to ensure all stations have enough Gardaí to ensure visibility on the streets, as an active deterrent.”