CSO postpones publishing Garda crime data again

The publication of any new crime data for the Republic has been once again postponed because the Garda Síochána has now extended its review into homicide data.

The Irish Times understands a long-awaited report detailing how some homicides were not recorded as killings at all and were left out of the crime data over several years has still not been received by the Policing Authority.

Yesterday, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) confirmed it had decided to “further defer” the publication of crime statistics. The decision was made, it said, after discussions with the Garda.

It is understood the deferral is due to the fact the Garda review of homicide figures will now stretch back approximately 15 years, much longer than previously anticipated.

In June when the national crime statistics for the first quarter of the year were due to be published the CSO announced it had decided to suspended the publication of any more crime data.

It said the Garda was reviewing its homicide data and it preferred to await the outcome of that review, and make changes to its own historical data, before publishing any further crime figures.

Two months earlier there were tense exchanges between Policing Authority chairwoman Josephine Feehily and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan when the State’s homicide figures were discussed.

It emerged at the meeting 41 homicides between 2013 and 2015 were reviewed because Garda analysts found some form of classification issue with them. Some murders committed in a domestic setting were classified as non-fatal offences against the person.

It then emerged in June the Republic’s homicide figures were missing 89 killings because of mistakes in the way homicides have been recorded by Garda members. All of them were cases of dangerous driving causing death.

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