Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Background Notes

    These statistics are categorised as Under Reservation. This categorisation indicates that the quality of these statistics do not meet the standards required of official statistics published by the CSO.

    For further information please refer to the Under Reservation FAQ page.

Background Notes


This publication provides figures for the re-offending rates of individuals released from prison in the year 2011 and 2012 (the 2011 and 2012 cohorts).

The term “offences” in this report refers to crime incidents known to An Garda Síochána and recorded as such in the Garda PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) system.  Because of timing issues with respect to the extraction of data, figures may be revised after this publication. 

Data collection

These figures were produced using a combination of Garda Síochána and Prison records. Since there is no direct link between the two systems, a statistical matching protocol was devised by the CSO to match Prison and Garda records. This protocol was updated in 2019 to capitalise on technological improvements that have become available in the 5 years since the report was first published. This revised matching process was applied to the 2011 and 2012 cohorts and will be applied to all subsequent cohorts until further notice.

Due to the absence of a unique identifier in the Irish Criminal Justice system the matching process involves the comparison of individual records. In the region of 60% of all matches are matched automatically. That is, the name, address and date of the birth details for the subject in the Prison dataset corresponds exactly with those details in the Garda PULSE dataset.

Due to data quality issues and limitations on the reliability of some information provided to law enforcement authorities, the remaining 40% of matches require manual examination. There are clear guidelines in place in relation to the selection or rejection of matches, but a certain level of subjectivity is inevitable in the absence of a unique identifier.


For this report the individual must commit a recorded incident within three years of their release from prison.


When considering re-offending, certain offence types are excluded. These offences include mainly traffic offences and some animal welfare offences. A complete list is available on request.

Crime recording

Incidents reported, or which become known to members of An Garda Síochána, are recorded when, on the balance of probability, a Garda determines that a criminal offence defined by law has taken place, and there is no credible evidence to the contrary.  If it is subsequently determined that a criminal incident did not take place, the record is invalidated and is not counted in the statistics.  If a person makes a report and subsequently withdraws it, then this too is invalidated unless there is evidence to suggest that, by reasonable probability, the offence has taken place. 

For criminal incidents where victim confirmation is required (e.g. assault, fraud), a criminal incident is recorded only where the victim confirms the incident or where there is evidence to suggest that by reasonable probability it occurred.

Crime Classification

A criminal incident is classified as a particular offence type at the initial recording of that incident.  However, upon investigation, it may later become apparent that an alternative offence type should be used.  In this event, the record is amended to reflect this.  Re-classification based on court proceedings only occurs in relation to homicide offences. The classification is used in this publication is the ICCSq.

ICCSQ Offence Groups 


Homicide offences




Manslaughter (traffic fatality)

Dangerous driving causing death


Sexual offences

Rape of a male or female

Rape Section 4

Unlawful carnal knowledge/Criminal law (Sexual Offences Act) 2006


Sexual offence involving mentally impaired person

Aggravated sexual assault

Sexual Assault


Child pornography offences

Child pornography – obstruction of warrant

Gross indecency


Attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences

Murder – attempt

Murder – threat

Assault causing harm


Assault or obstruction of Garda/official, resisting arrest

Minor assault


Harassment, stalking, threats

Demanding payment of debt causing alarm

Housing Act

Menacing phone calls

Incitement to hatred offences


Dangerous or negligent acts

Dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm

Driving/In charge of a vehicle while over legal alcohol limit

Driving/In charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs

Endangerment with potential for serious harm or death

Abandoning a child, child neglect and cruelty

Unseaworthy/dangerous use of a boat or ship

False alarm/interference with aircraft or air transport facilities

Endangering traffic offences


Kidnapping and related offences

False imprisonment

Abduction of person under 16 years of age

Human trafficking offences


Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences

Robbery of an establishment or institution

Robbery of cash of goods in transit

Robbery from the person

Blackmail or extortion

Carjacking, hijacking/unlawful seizure of aircraft/vessel


Burglary and related offences

Aggravated burglary

Burglary (not aggravated)

Possession of an article (with intent to burgle, steal, demand)


Theft and related offences

Theft/Unauthorised taking of a vehicle

Interfering with vehicle (with intent to steal item or vehicle)

Theft from person

Theft from shop

Theft from vehicle

Theft/Unauthorised taking of a pedal cycle

Theft of, or interference with, mail

Handling or possession of stolen property

Theft of other property


Fraud, deception and related offences

Fraud, deception, false pretence offences

Forging an instrument to defraud

Possession of an article for use in fraud, deception or extortion

Falsification of accounts

Offences under the Companies Act

Offences under the Investment Intermediaries Act

Offences under the Stock Exchange Act

Money laundering


Fraud against the European Union

Importation/Sale/Supply of tobacco

Counterfeiting notes and coins

Counterfeiting of goods

Bad debts criminal (Debtors Ireland)

Corruption (involving public office holder)


Controlled drug offences

Importation of drugs

Cultivation or manufacture of drugs

Possession of drugs for sale or supply

Possession of drugs for personal use

Forged or altered prescription offences

Obstruction under the Drugs Act


Weapons and explosives offences

Causing an explosion

Making of explosives

Possession of explosives

Chemical weapons offences

Discharging a firearm

Possession of a firearm

Possession of offensive weapons (not firearms)

Fireworks offences (for sale, igniting etc.)


Damage to property and to the environment


Criminal damage (not arson)

Litter offences


Public order and other social code offences

Affray/Riot/Violent disorder

Public order offences

Drunkenness offences

Air rage-disruptive or drunken behaviour on aircraft

Forcible entry and occupation (not burglary)

Trespass on lands or enclosed areas

Liquor licensing offences

Registered clubs offences

Special restaurant offences

Provision of intoxicating liquor to under 18 year olds

Purchase or consumption of alcohol by under 18 year olds

Sale of intoxicating liquor to under 18 year olds

Brothel keeping

Organisation of prostitution

Prostitution, including soliciting etc.

Offences under the Betting Acts

Collecting money without permit, unauthorised collection

Offences under Gaming and Lotteries Acts

Permit/License offences for casual/street trading

Allowing a child (under 16 years) to beg






Road and traffic offences (NEC)

Driving licence-failure to have, produce etc.

Insurance-failure to have, produce, display etc.

No tax, non-display of tax, unregistered vehicle etc.

Misuse of Trade Licence

Misuse of trailers, weight and other offences

Obstruction under road traffic acts

Other road offences

Road transport – carriage of goods offences

Public service vehicle offences

Light rail offences (Luas)


Offences against Government, justice procedures and organisation of crime


Breaches of Offences Against the State Acts

Breaches of Official Secrets Act

Impersonating member of An Garda Síochána

Electoral offences including personation

Public mischief-annoying phone calls, wasting police time

Criminal Assets Bureau offences (organised crime)

Conspiracy to commit a crime


Interfering with a jury (embracery)

Assisting offenders

Public mischief, pervert course of justice, conceal offence

Escape or help to escape from custody

Prison offences

Breach of Domestic Violence Order (protection, safety, barring)

Breach of order under Family Law Act

Breach of bail

Failure to comply under Sex Offenders Act

Other failure to comply with court order, jury summons, warrant etc.


Go to contact details:Contact Details