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Policing Authority to question garda commissioner about missing homicide figures

The review was due to be published last June.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE POLICING AUTHORITY has urged the gardaí to provide them with a review into homicide figures saying it has ongoing questions about how the crimes are classified.

The review was due to be published last June however the authority have yet to receive the data.

In a statement the authority said the issue came to its attention last April, since then it has discussed it with the gardaí “on a number of occasions”.

Despite this the material the force has provided has been “inconclusive” and the authority continues to have questions.

The statement added:

The Garda Síochána has therefore been asked to do further work and the matter is on the agenda for the Authority’s meeting with the Garda Commissioner, to be held in public, in February.

Last September the Central Statistics Office postponed the publication of crime statistics while the gardaí carry out an extended review of homicide data.

The review was initially meant to cover the period from 2013-2015 however when 41 cases were found to have been misclassified the review was extended back to 2003.

In June gardaí revealed that 89 homicides over a 14-year period were not counted due to an issue with the way they were recorded on the force’s Pulse database.

A spokesman for the gardaí said it would not be responding to the Policing Authority’s statement. He said the force will inform all relevant parties when the review is completed.

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Justice, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, called on the Minister for Justice to clarify the situation.

“The possibility that there are families out there, who are not aware that their loved ones were the victim of a homicide, or died in another manner, is of the most serious concerns. It would in fact be scandalous,” Ó Laoghaire said.

It is incredible that we are in a situation that the CSO has not for some time now, since September, had the confidence in Garda Statistics to publish these statistics.

READ: ‘We are going after him’: Questions but few answers on explosive day at the Disclosures Tribunal>

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Ceimin Burke

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