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Wednesday 17 July 2019

CSO crime figures reveal 18pc increase in homicides

  • More than 200 homicides were wrongly classified over a 14 year period
  • Homicide offences increased by 18pc between 2003 and 2016
  • Over the last year there has been an increase in almost 20pc of sexual offences
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Stock Picture

Robin Schiller and Tom Brady

More than 200 homicides were wrongly classified over a 14 year period following a review of how crime statistics were recorded in the State.

In total 234 homicides were wrongly recorded, while three deaths were incorrectly categorised as murders.

In almost 200 incidents fatal road traffic incidents were misclassified and should have been recorded as cases of dangerous driving causing death.

Today is the first time the CSO has published its crime statistics since last June after concerns were raised about the reporting and classification of a number of homicides.

Following the reclassification of homicides, it has emerged that those offences increased by 18pc between 2003 and 2016.

Over the last year there has been an increase in almost 20pc of sexual offenses in Ireland while fraud crimes have risen by 23pc between 2016 and 2017, according to the CSO.

Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey said that changes have been made internally since the concerns were raised by the CSO. 

"It is something we are very conscious of. We've done a lot of work with the Central Statistics Office over the last 12 to 18 months and we will continue to do that.

“We've made changes ourselves including in terms of our own internal processes in how we record and how we evaluate them."

The Deputy Commissioner, speaking at the 40th annual AGSI delegate conference in Tullow, also stated that he was satisfied that the murders which were reviewed had been fully investigated. 

“We will keep any families affected by this informed as to what the situation is. Certainly, I'm satisfied at this particular time when we look at the 41 cases, that they've been investigated.

"The message I would like to say to victims of crime is that every incident reported to us, every homicide, will be thoroughly and professionally investigated and that's an assurance on behalf of the garda commissioner and the organisation,” Mr Twomey said.

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.

“Today’s revised data shows revisions across all crime groups, but particularly homicide incidents, which have increased by 18pc 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.”

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