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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.

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The Central Statistics Office (CSO) publishes statistics on Recorded Crime on a quarterly basis. The Recorded Crime statistical release and associated tables provide detail on the number and type of crime incidents recorded by An Garda Síochána.

Recorded Crime statistics are derived from the administrative data records created and maintained by An Garda Síochána on their incident recording system PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively).

Incidents reported to, or which become known to, An Garda Síochána are recorded as crime incidents if a member of An Garda Síochána determines that, on the balance of probability, a criminal offence defined by law has taken place, and there is no credible evidence to the contrary. Recorded Crime statistics are disseminated using the Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS) and are based on the date recorded as being the date the crime was reported to, or became known to, An Garda Síochána.

Recorded Crime statistics contain only valid crime incidents reported to and recorded by An Garda Síochána. Issues of under-reporting and under-recording of crime are not addressed in this release.

Recorded Crime statistics are subject to revision because the underlying records may be subject to ongoing review by An Garda Síochána on the incident recording system as the Garda investigation into the incident progresses.

Crime Counting Rules (CCR)

An overview for how crimes ought to be recorded by An Garda Síochána is provided in the Crime Counting Rules document. The document, published by AGS, explains the procedures and rationale for whether or not to record a crime incident and what to record. It provides guidance for the classification, reclassification, and invalidation of records and for recording whether a crime incident is detected.

In summary, incidents reported or which become known to An Garda Síochána are recorded as crime incidents if a member of An Garda Síochána determines that, on the balance of probability, a criminal offence defined by law has taken place, and there is no credible evidence to the contrary. A crime incident should be recorded against the Garda sub-district in which the incident took place (or was reported if the location cannot be determined).

If it is subsequently determined that a criminal offence did not take place, the recorded crime incident should be invalidated. Invalidated incidents are not counted in recorded crime statistics.

If a person withdraws a report of a crime, stating that the criminal act did not take place, again the recorded crime incident is invalidated unless there is evidence to suggest that, on the balance of probability, an offence has taken place.

A recorded crime is classified as a particular incident type at the time it is initially recorded on PULSE. If, as part of an investigation, it becomes clear that a different crime incident type should have been used then the record should be reclassified. A reclassification to a homicide offence should occur, for example, if a serious assault has been recorded and the victim later dies as a direct consequence of the assault, or if a road traffic offence is determined to have resulted in a fatal road traffic collision.

Reclassification based on the outcome of court proceedings is only required in the case of homicide incidents. For example, a murder offence should be reclassified to manslaughter when a murder charge results in a conviction for manslaughter.

Primary Offence Rule: Where two or more criminal offences are committed in a single episode, it is the primary recorded crime incident which is counted. The primary incident is the incident for which the suspected offender would receive the greatest penalty on conviction. For example if a suspected offender is involved in an incident of dangerous driving causing death and an incident of drug possession, the incident of dangerous driving causing death should be classified as the primary incident. The drug possession incident would not be included in the Recorded Crime Statistics as only primary incidents are counted for statistical purposes. Homicide incidents should always be recorded as the primary incident.

One Offence Counts Per Victim: A separate crime incident should be recorded for each victim of a crime, and each incident is counted for statistical purposes. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, a single burglary incident should be recorded where property belonging to two or more victims is stolen or damaged during a single burglary. 

Continuous Series Involving the Same Victim and Same Offender: A series of fraud or sexual offence incidents involving the same offender and the same victim should only be counted as a single incident for statistical purposes if reported to An Garda Síochána at the same time.

Note: An Garda Síochána are currently updating the Crime Counting Rules document in order to reflect changes in the procedures for recording crime incidents since the last publication of the document. These changes include the introduction of Fixed Charge Notice system and the Youth Diversion programme.

Compilation for statistical purposes

Crime incidents recorded on PULSE are classified according to the type of incident that is determined to have taken place by the recording member. There are over 150 different incident types currently in use. PULSE incident types are mapped to the Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS) for statistical reporting purposes.

The Recorded Crime release publishes a subset of the ICCS incident categories, known as the ICCSq classification. Groups 14 and 16 and some subcategories of Group 4 are not included. This is because some crime incidents, such as some road traffic offences, are recorded only as Fixed Charge Notice offences (i.e. on a different database) and are only recorded on PULSE if the offender fails to pay the Fixed Charge. Details of such offences are provided in other CSO statistical releases.

Crime incidents which are recorded as invalid, non-primary, or are not recorded against a valid station in Ireland are not counted for statistical purposes. For stations which have been closed, crime incidents are reassigned to the Garda sub-district which assumed responsibility for the area of the closed station.

Correction within Groups 2 and 9

The CSO has, as of Q4 2017, implemented an automatic correction to PULSE data to ensure that only a single incident is counted in cases deemed to be a continuous series involving the same victim and same offender. This is in accordance with the CCR. The automatic correction replaces a manual correction which had previously been conducted on a quarterly basis. The resulting differences to the number of incidents affect only Groups 2 and 9. The automatic correction is applied to incidents recorded between January 1st 2003 and June 30th 2017. 

An Garda Síochána have introduced additional quality control procedures that have been applied to Groups 2 and 9 for all incidents recorded after July 1st 2017. These quality control procedures negate the need for CSO to continue to implement the automatic correction. 

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