The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan T.D., today noted the publication of a new statistical release by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Recorded Crime Detection 2018.
Commenting on the figures, Minister Flanagan said:
Robust and accurate data is critical in the criminal justice sector – to inform Government policy, to underpin Garda operational decisions, as well as to ensure an accurate assessment of Garda performance. As such I welcome the fact that improvements in An Garda Síochána, in particular in terms of data governance including upgrade of the Pulse system has facilitated preparation and publication of this report by the CSO.
Noting that while detection rates in some categories are high, others are considerably lower, the Minister continued:
The CSO has advised that these detection rates are not comparable with figures published in earlier years. That is a crucial point, while crucial also is the fact that the Policing Authority will continue to follow-up closely on the performance of its functions by An Garda Síochána.
The welcome clarity which this new and more reliable assessment of detections brings will be of assistance to the Authority in that independent oversight task and will also be of assistance to An Garda Síochána as it continues to improve the policing services it provides nationwide.
He also added:
Aside from detection rates, I was pleased to see stability and increases in most offence categories in terms of levels of charges and summons.’
The Minister noted recent developments in relation to the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences and said:
An Garda Síochána is continuously improving its specialist services to respond to the needs of victims. Divisional Protective Service Units are being rolled out on a nationwide basis. It is however disappointing to see that the proportion of sexual offences which have led to charge or summons has reduced for 2018.
On the other hand it is important to note that this is a point-in-time assessment and that this number can be expected to increase further as investigations are completed by An Garda Síochána.
Reflecting on the report overall, Minister Flanagan said:
While many challenges remain, this report was made possible by improvements in An Garda Síochána which have improved the quality and consistency of recording of crime data. This report arms us with a more robust and reliable assessment of detections. It thereby establishes a reliable baseline against which operational decisions can be considered and further progress can be ensured and measured.
Record funding is being provided to An Garda Síochána to support increased recruitment as well as capital projects, including investment in Garda ICT. We now have over 14,300 Garda members supported by over 2,900 Garda staff nationwide. These numbers are increasing and the ongoing programme of investment and reform will also lead to greater efficiencies.