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.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) publishes statistics relating to crimes which are recorded by An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police and security service.
Recorded Crime statistics reflect the number of crime incidents recorded by An Garda Síochána on their PULSE crime incident database. The Recorded Crime electronic publication and related tables provide statistical information on the volume, type and distribution of crime incidents recorded by An Garda Síochána.
Recorded Crime Detection is an annual snapshot publication which reflects the extent to which crimes recorded by An Garda Síochána have been detected.
Recorded Crime Victims and Suspected Offenders is an annual publication which provides statistical data on the age and sex of victims and suspected offenders of selected crime incident types.
Recorded Crime statistics are categorised by the Central Statistics Office as Statistics Under Reservation. Please see Chapter 2 for further information.
The Recorded Crime Detection 2019 publication is compiled from the administrative records of crime incidents recorded by An Garda Síochána on the PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) and FCPS (Fixed Charge Penalty System) databases.
CSO receives a subset of the data held on PULSE and FCPS for the purpose of compiling crime statistics, and only processes data which are deemed necessary for the production of official crime statistics and related quality assessments.
Recorded Crime Detection 2019 is based on PULSE data extracted on 1st September 2020 and FCPS data extracted between the 6th and 9th of August 2020. The PULSE dataset is the same as used to publish Recorded Crime (RC) Q2 2020 on 29/09/2020.
A crime is considered detected when AGS have identified and sanctioned a suspected offender for the crime. Valid sanctions may include charges and summons, formal and informal cautions, and fixed penalties depending on the offence type. There are some limited circumstances where a detection is permitted even though no suspected offender has been sanctioned. The rules governing crime incident detection are outlined in the Guide to How Crime is Recorded and Counted by An Garda Síochána.
A charge is a document detailing the criminal offence(s) a suspected offender is accused of following arrest. Once charged, a suspected offender must either be released on bail or detained until they appear in court. A summons is an alternative to a charge whereby a suspected offender is ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Crime incidents where a suspected offender has not been sanctioned are considered to be ‘not detected’. This occurs in a variety of scenarios, including where no suspect has been identified, where a suspect has been identified but there is insufficient evidence to support prosecution, or where a victim does not support further action. AGS are currently considering changes to how data is collected which could permit a more complete representation of crime incident outcomes. However, this is not possible based on the data currently available.
The data governance controls introduced by AGS in 2018 support more reliable statistical outputs. The changes, however, also represent a break-in-series for measuring crime detection rates in Ireland. Detection rates for time periods prior to the introduction of the controls are not comparable with figures published since. Indeed, the timing of the changes (25th Feb 2018) mean that data for reference year 2018 includes a portion of the year where the old system was still in use. Users of the statistics published here should consider this when comparing 2018 with subsequent years.
The time gap between an offence being recorded and a suspected offender being sanctioned is influenced by a variety of factors (e.g. gathering evidence, awaiting laboratory results or awaiting a direction for prosecution), and varies by crime offence type. Hence, crime incident detection rates for a period tend to increase over time before settling. This may take longer than a year for some crime types.
Initial crime incident detection rates are based on data extracted 8 months after the end of the reference year. The gap of 8 months is selected to allow publication of statistics in a timely manner while recognising that reasonable time must be allowed for investigations to reach conclusion and for detection rates to begin to settle. Updated detection rates for previous reference years highlight further detections which have been achieved in the interim.
Figures for the numbers of recorded crime incidents presented in this publication are as presented in Recorded Crime Q2 2020. Notes on how Recorded Crime (RC) Q2 2020 statistics were produced are available in the Background Notes for that publication.
For the purpose of this compiling detection statistics, a crime incident is measured as detected when at least one person is linked to the incident as a suspected offender. This method is used in preference to using the incident_detection_status field for a crime incident (which had been used in the past), because each suspected offender has their method of sanction recorded separately, thus helping to validate results. The difference between the two methods is very small however following the data governance changes implemented in 2018, and was less than 0.1% of detected crime incidents in 2019.
For each suspected offender, and in respect of each incident for which they are recorded as a suspected offender, the sanction type (e.g. charge, summons, caution) used is recorded in the offender_detection_status field. This data is used to provide breakdowns of the method of sanction for different crime incident types.
Crime incidents are measured as having been charged or summonsed when a valid charge or summons record exists in respect of the incident. Suspected offenders are measured to have been charged or summonsed in respect of an incident when the offender_detection_status data field indicates that proceedings have commenced in respect of a specific crime. This may lead to a very small disagreement in figures, see Quality section below.
Fixed Charge Notices (FCN) and Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) are extracted from the Fixed Charge Penalty System database. A small number of records are not included in the statistics, such as records whose status is ‘terminated’, records which are assigned to invalid Garda sub-districts (<0.01% of records), and records which exhibited an error once extracted (0.02% of records). It is possible that more than one FCN/FPN may be issued in a single incident, however it is not possible to apply a ‘primary offence’ rule similar to other crimes. For this reason, figures for FCN/FPN reported in this publication reflect the total number issued.
The CSO uses the Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS) to disseminate statistics on Recorded Crime in Ireland. An amended version of the ICCSq is used to classify recorded crime detection rates in Table 3.1. The amended classification groups some offence types together in cases where the recorded values are low. The reason for doing this is to permit further disaggregation while reducing the risk of identification of individuals.
A classification has been introduced to report on Fixed Charge Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices issued by An Garda Síochána. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Recorded crimes are classified by year and by quarter according to the date_reported data field, as is usual in reporting police-recorded crime statistics in other countries.
The detection rate is the proportion of recorded crimes which have been detected. As such, detection rates reflect the proportion of incidents reported in a year which have since been detected, irrespective of when the detection was recorded. For example, in the case of a crime reported in 2018 for which a summons was issued during 2019, the detection appears in 2018 figures. It is a consequence of this that detection rates are higher for earlier years, since those incidents have had a longer timeframe in which to identify and sanction a suspected offender.
The recorded crime rate is the ratio of the number of crimes reported to and recorded by An Garda Síochána relative to the population, expressed as a rate per 100,000 people. Populations for Garda administrative regions are calculated by using measured population by Garda Division from the 2016 Census of Population (for persons in private households) and applying the breakdown to official 2019 national population estimates.
Crimes are classified by location according to the Garda sub-district against which the crime has been recorded. These are aggregated to Garda regions for geographical breakdowns. The Garda regions used in this publication are the ones which were operational at the end of the reference period.
The measurement and comparison of urban and rural crime rates has been identified as being of interest to many users. It would be a subjective process to classify every Garda sub-district as being either urban or rural, and one which different users would likely not agree upon. As such the CSO has decided to present figures for Dublin (i.e. Dublin Metropolitan Region) and Outside Dublin (the rest of the country) alongside one another, to allow users to compare such figures if they find such a comparison useful.
As stated earlier, PULSE Upgrade 7.3, released on 25 February 2018, introduced new data governance controls in respect of recording detections. These new controls now better ensure that the number of detections identified match the number of sanctions for those detections, apart from what should be a relatively small number of exceptions (e.g. the offender has died).
In the Recorded Crime Detection 2018 publication, the CSO put forward its basis for republishing crime incident detection statistics from a data quality perspective, by measuring the impact of changes introduced in PULSE Upgrade 7.3. CSO looked in particular at reference year 2014 - when caveated statistics were last published by CSO, and reference year 2018 – when the PULSE upgrade was implemented. Three main areas of data quality improvement had been identified. An update on each of these measures is presented here:
1. A reduction in the number of suspected offenders classified as having “proceedings commenced” (i.e. the detection status of the suspected offender is recorded as "Proceedings Complete", "Proceedings Commenced" or "Committed for Trial") for which no corresponding charge or summons record could be identified.
2. A reduction in the use of the exceptions facility in the designation of a sanction
3. A reduction in the number of suspected offenders for whom no sanction type is recorded in their detection status.
1. With the definition of a “detection” dependent on the application of a designated sanction (charge, caution, etc.), based on An Garda Síochána operational guidelines, a key area of focus relates to any marking of criminal incidents as detected and, in parallel, the marking of persons as suspected offenders, before or in the absence of a formal sanction. For example, persons being recorded as having proceedings commenced against them for a criminal incident even though no matching charge or summons record could be found. The data in Table 8.1 below outlines the scale of this issue for the years 2014 and also for 2018 and 2019. Table 8.2 provides a monthly breakdown of the annual figures. Taken together, these tables outline strong quality improvements in the detections data, with the timing of the PULSE upgrade (25th February 2018) clearly impacting on the monthly totals from March 2018 onwards, and sustained through 2019.
|Table 8.1 Number of suspected offenders classified as "proceedings commenced" for which no corresponding charge or summons record could be identified by offence group, 2014, 2018 and 2019|
|ICCSq offence group||2014||2018||2019|
|01 Homicide and related offences||3||0||0|
|02 Sexual offences||17||2||1|
|03 Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences||1,280||98||53|
|04 Dangerous or negligent acts||895||89||9|
|05 Kidnapping and related offences||9||2||3|
|06 Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences||145||5||7|
|07 Burglary and related offences||682||33||8|
|08 Theft and related offences||3,201||173||34|
|09 Fraud, deception and related offences||261||21||19|
|10 Controlled drug offences||2,730||102||35|
|11 Weapons and explosives offences||303||16||15|
|12 Damage to property and to the environment||997||61||28|
|13 Public order and other social code offences||8,373||406||30|
|15 Offences against government, justice procedures and organisation of crime||4,170||505||15|
|Table 8.2 Number of suspected offenders classified as "proceedings commenced" for which no corresponding charge or summons record could be identified by month, 2014, 2018 and 2019|
2. One of the changes brought about in PULSE 7.3 was increased supervision of the cases where an exception was claimed as per the An Garda Síochána Crime Counting Rules. This meant that all such cases must be verified by the Garda Information Service Centre (GISC). The impact of this change for crime incidents reported in 2014, 2018 and 2019 is seen in Tables 8.3 and 8.4 below, where it can be seen the clear step change and new ‘baseline’ from March 2018.
|Table 8.3 Number of suspected offenders where Crime Counting Rules exception claimed by offence group, 2014, 2018 and 2019|
|ICCSq offence group||2014||2018||2019|
|01 Homicide and related offences||1||1||0|
|02 Sexual offences||435||43||14|
|03 Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences||1,146||449||618|
|04 Dangerous or negligent acts||113||20||18|
|05 Kidnapping and related offences||16||3||4|
|06 Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences||141||17||19|
|07 Burglary and related offences||370||73||57|
|08 Theft and related offences||1,133||363||344|
|09 Fraud, deception and related offences||108||54||41|
|10 Controlled drug offences||422||105||36|
|11 Weapons and explosives offences||101||10||9|
|12 Damage to property and to the environment||555||185||217|
|13 Public order and other social code offences||765||169||108|
|15 Offences against government, justice procedures and organisation of crime||220||97||31|
|Table 8.4 Number of suspected offenders where Crime Counting Rules exception claimed by month, 2014, 2018 and 2019|
3. In some instances prior to the PULSE 7.3 upgrade, the data field used to record the sanction type of a suspected offender in respect of a crime incident was not updated to reflect this information, and remained either blank or classified as, for example, under investigation or that a file had been submitted to DPP. Tables 8.5 and 9.6 show the number of suspected offender records classified in this way for crimes reported in 2014, 2018 and 2019. Again, the impact of the changes implemented in February 2018 is clearly indicated in Table 8.6.
|Table 8.5 Number of suspected offenders for whom no sanction type is recorded in their detection status by offence group, 2014, 2018 and 2019|
|ICCSq offence group||2014||2018||2019|
|01 Homicide and related offences||13||1||0|
|02 Sexual offences||54||27||23|
|03 Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences||1,664||139||81|
|04 Dangerous or negligent acts||214||53||90|
|05 Kidnapping and related offences||23||1||0|
|06 Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences||200||8||6|
|07 Burglary and related offences||781||37||23|
|08 Theft and related offences||1,701||133||149|
|09 Fraud, deception and related offences||356||29||10|
|10 Controlled drug offences||1,126||161||80|
|11 Weapons and explosives offences||180||15||19|
|12 Damage to property and to the environment||699||59||30|
|13 Public order and other social code offences||1,186||178||123|
|15 Offences against government, justice procedures and organisation of crime||328||78||25|
|Table 8.6 Number of suspected offenders for whom no sanction type is recorded in their detection status by month, 2014, 2018 and 2019|
The analysis shows clear quality improvements observed in detections data from the implementation of PULSE 7.3 in February 2018 have been maintained through 2019.
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