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There's been a rise in burglary, sexual offences and threats of murder this year

The force is piloting a new incident recording process to ensure reported crimes are recorded consistently.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE LATEST CRIME statistics for the first three months of this year show there has been a rise in burglary, sexual offences and offences related to threats of murder and assault.

The statistics were published by the Central Statistics Office today, which had held off on releasing crime figures after the Garda Inspectorate report found significant shortcomings in the recording of offences. The CSO completed its own review of the accuracy of garda crime data, finding 18% of crimes reported in 2011 were not recorded on the Pulse system.

A small number (3%) of crimes were also found to have been  placed in the wrong category. The CSO said its findings are broadly in line with those of the inspectorate report, which said 28% of reported crimes never made it to Pulse.

Now that the review is complete, the CSO can resume publishing quarterly crime data reports. Today’s figures reveal an 8% rise in the year to March 2015 in burglary and in attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harrassments and other related offences.

There was also a 2.8% rise in sexual offences from 1,995 to 2,051. Offences related to fraud and deception were up 1.7%.

Source: Click for larger version via CSO

There was, however, a drop in robbery, public order, drugs and weapons offences.

Responding to today’s report and the new crime figures, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said it is “vital” to have access to accurate, reliable data on crime.

She said many of the issues have “no doubt built-up over time, particularly as technology has failed to keep up with the demands of policing in a modern society”.

Fitzgerald will now be working with Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin to secure early investment in upgrading garda technology. An Garda Síochana is piloting a new incident recording process to address issues that were identified in the inspectorate report and in this newly published review.

New measures have been put in place by An Garda Síochána to ensure that all reports from the public to garda stations and control rooms will be logged in a consistent manner using a standardised method and that all incidents will be recorded and classified initially at Garda Information Services Centre (GISC) based in Castlebar. This will reduce the number of incident classification decision makers and improve consistency.

On the new crime statistics, she noted the rise in burglary offences, and said she has made specific funding of €700,000 available for specialised vehicles to support the response to crime threats, including burglaries being committed by “highly-mobile gangs”.

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