88. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps being taken by An Garda Síochána to enable the resumption of publication by the CSO of quarterly crime statistics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2197/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the work carried out by An Garda Síochána and I as Minister have no role in the matter referred to.
However, I understand that work is on going, between An Garda Síochána and the Central Statistics Office, to ensure that the publication of the official CSO crime statistics can recommence. The CSO has postponed the publication of crime statistics pending the receipt of certain clarifications arising from a Garda review of the classification of different categories of homicide.
My Department continues to liaise with both the CSO and An Garda Síochána in order to ensure that the issues preventing the publication of crime statistics continue to receive appropriate attention and are prioritised.
While recent provisional operational figures from An Garda Síochána would appear to indicate that certain crime categories are on the rise, I was pleased to note a Garda press release last week which stated that, according to provisional operational figures, burglaries nationally fell by 23% during November and December under the Winter Phase of Operation Thor.
However, until such time as the CSO can resume its publication of the crime statistics, it would be unwise to draw any firm conclusions from them at this point. Needless to say, An Garda Síochána will continue to monitor all new and emerging crime trends and deploy their resources accordingly.