18. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has received reports and statistical analysis of the number of crimes in which a knife was the primary weapon used. [11980/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistics agency, is responsible for the publication of recorded crime statistics.
While the statistical information being sought by the Deputy is not currently being published by the CSO, I can advise the Deputy that my Department received a report from An Garda Síochána in relation to knife seizures, which indicates year on year increases in the numbers of knives seized by An Garda Síochána, with 1,200 seized in 2016, 1,600 seized in 2017 and almost 2,000 seized last year.
My Department wrote to the Garda authorities in February 2019 to seek an update on the recent work of An Garda Síochána in tackling knife-related crime, and the progress being made by Gardaí to improve the quality of knife crime statistics recorded on the PULSE system. When a response is received, and has been fully considered by my Department, I hope to able to provide the Deputy with an update.
I will contact the Deputy again when an update has been received from the Garda authorities.