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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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Recorded Crime statistics are produced on a quarterly basis by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The quarterly Recorded Crime electronic publication and related tables provide statistical information on the volume and type of crimes recorded by An Garda Síochána, see Recorded Crime.

The CSO publishes statistics relating to victims and suspected offenders of Recorded Crime incidents annually, see Recorded Crime Victims and Suspected Offenders.

The CSO publishes statistics on Recorded Crime incidents which result in detection annually, see Recorded Crime Detection.

Recorded Crime statistics are categorised by the Central Statistics Office as Statistics Under Reservation. This category is used to keep users informed about the quality of statistical outputs, and arises because of ongoing data quality issues within the data source. In the case of PULSE data, it informs users that Recorded Crime statistics based on recorded incidents on PULSE may understate or overstate the prevalence of reported offences and may be subject to revisions in subsequent statistical publications.

Please see Statistics Under Reservation FAQs for further information.

Data Source

Recorded Crime statistics are compiled exclusively from administrative records created and maintained by An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police and security service, on their incident recording system PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively).

Published figures may be subject to revision as underlying records are subject to update, review or revision by An Garda Síochána as investigations progress.

Data Collection

Crimes 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.

The rules governing how crimes are to be recorded by An Garda Síochána are provided in the Guide to How Crime is Recorded and Counted by An Garda Síochána. This document explains the rationale for whether or not to record a crime incident and what to record, and provides guidance for the classification, reclassification, and invalidation of crime incident records, and for recording whether a crime incident has been detected. This document provides transparency in how crime is recorded on PULSE and allows users to better understand and use statistical outputs.

Crime incidents are classified by type according to a set of approximately 200 different incident types (e.g. murder, assault, burglary).

Crime incidents are recorded against the Garda sub-district in which the offence was committed, or where it was reported if the place of commission cannot be determined.

Compilation of Recorded Crime statistics

The Central Statistics Office is in receipt of a single regular data extract from the PULSE database, updated each quarter. The data extract comprises a subset of the data held on the PULSE database, configured for the specific purpose of compiling Recorded Crime statistics.

Only valid, primary crime incidents assigned to a valid Garda sub-district within the State are included in Recorded Crime statistics.

Recorded Crime incidents are differentiated by type, reporting period and location for statistical purposes:

  • Crime type

The ‘incident type’ variable, as recorded on PULSE, is used to differentiate between crimes of different type.

The set of PULSE incident types is mapped to the Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS) for statistical reporting. Please see ICCS (PDF 445KB) .

The Recorded Crime publication does not include Groups 14 and 16 of the ICCS, and includes only some subcategories of Group 4. This is because some offences (i.e. specified road traffic offences) are initially recorded as Fixed Charge Notice offences on a separate database and are only recorded on PULSE if the offender fails to pay the fine within the specified time period. Statistics on Fixed Charge Notice offences are not published by the CSO at present.

  • Date

The ‘date reported’ variable, as recorded on PULSE, is used to differentiate between different reporting time periods i.e. by quarter and by year.

It is the date the crime is reported, rather the date the crime occurred, which is used for statistical reporting, in line with international best practice.

  • Location

The Station (or Garda sub-district) variable, as recorded on PULSE, is used to aggregate crime incidents up to administrative areas such as Garda Divisions and Garda Regions.

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.

Recorded Crime victims and suspected offenders

At present the Recorded Crime Victims and Suspected Offenders publication and related tables relate only to certain types of crime including homicides, sexual offences and physical assaults, as follows:

Group 1 Homicide Offences, including murder, manslaughter, and dangerous driving leading to death

Group 2 Sexual Offences: Sexual offences against the person such as Rape and Sexual Assault are included, but other sexual offences are not included

Group 3 Attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassment and related offences.

For statistical purposes, a victim is defined as a valid completed person record (i.e. includes sex and date of birth) which is linked to a recorded crime incident as the ‘injured party’. Crimes against the person should, in most instances, have a single person recorded as the injured party. There may be a limited number of exceptional circumstances where no injured party is recorded. The Crime Counting Rules dictate that not more than one victim should be recorded for a single crime incident of these types.

Statistics relating to victims of recorded crime incidents were first published in 2019 and were for the reference period 2016 to 2018. This followed an assessment of the quality of data on PULSE relating to victims of serious crime incident types, as outlined in the CSO’s Review of the Quality of Crime Statistics 2017 (published in 2018), which showed that victim data for these crime types were well recorded.

For statistical purposes, a suspected offender is defined as a valid completed person record (i.e. includes sex and date of birth) which is linked to a recorded crime incident as the ‘suspected offender’. A person can only be recorded as a suspected offender when they have been deemed responsible for the crime by An Garda Síochána and have been issued with a sanction such as a charge, summons or caution. Crime incidents may have no suspected offender (i.e. if the crime remains undetected) or may have one or more suspected offenders. As such, the number of suspected offenders does not correspond with the number of crime incidents or the number of detected crime incidents. Suspected offenders are allowed alternatives to prosecution in certain circumstances and prosecuted cases may not yet have been tried in court. As such the number of suspected offenders would not correspond with the number of prosecutions or convictions.

Statistics relating to suspected offenders of recorded crime incidents were published for the first time in 2020, for reference year 2018 only. Data governance controls introduced by An Garda Síochána in early 2018 resulted in a break-in-series in suspected offender data from 2018. The new governance controls support more reliable data outputs, but mean that data recorded prior to 2018 is not directly comparable. For this reason, the data series in respect of suspected offenders begins in 2018. Figures for reference years 2018 to 2020 are provided in this publication. Figures for reference year 2021 will appear in the next reporting period, to allow time for a sufficient volume of investigations to reach conclusion.

Data edits for statistical purposes

Recorded Crime statistics are based on the unedited records of An Garda Síochána, except in the following circumstances:

For Garda stations which have been closed, crime incidents are reassigned to the Garda sub-district which assumed responsibility for the area of the closed station.

From Q4 2017, CSO implemented an automatic edit to PULSE data whereby only a single incident is counted in cases deemed to be a continuous series involving the same victim and same offender, in accordance with Section B.3 of the Crime Counting Rules. The automatic edit replaced a manual edit which had been previously carried out on a quarterly basis. The edit is only performed in the case of incidents within Group 02 Sexual Offences and Group 09 Fraud offences, and with reported dates between January 1st 2003 and June 30th 2017. An Garda Síochána introduced additional quality control procedures in respect of incidents recorded after June 30th 2017, eliminating the need for CSO to continue to implement the edit after this date.

Until Q2 2019, CSO performed an edit whereby it amended, for statistical purposes, the classification of incident records where the age of the victim determined that the incident type classification was inaccurate. For example, an incident classified as Abduction of a Child would be edited, for statistical purposes, to False Imprisonment if the recorded victim was not aged under 16. Due to improvements in data quality, this check is no longer performed on incidents with reported dates after June 30th 2017.

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