89. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which each of the six recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate report on crime investigation 2014 directly related to the compilation of crime statistics has been implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2198/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Following the publication of the Garda Inspectorate 'Crime Investigation' report in late 2014, my predecessor as Minister for Justice and Equality asked the Central Statistics Office to chair an Expert Group to examine each of the six recommendations relevant to them. The Expert Group consisted of officials from the CSO, An Garda Síochána and my Department, as well as Dr. Mary Rogan of Trinity College Dublin.
The Expert Group began its considerations in 2015 and a final report was published by my Department in July 2017. The report outlines the discussions and conclusions of the Group in relation to each of the six recommendations.
I am advised by the CSO that it continues to engage with An Garda Síochána in relation to a number of actions outlined in the report, including:
- Work on a new public facing document to explain to users of crime statistics the rules governing the recording and counting of crime incidents in Ireland. This document will include detail on recording, classification, invalidation, reclassification, counting rules and detection rules.
- A revised Memorandum of Understanding between the CSO and An Garda Síochána to guarantee the CSO access to both crime and non-crime data was signed in 2017. The CSO also receives technical documentation regarding updates, which affect how crimes are recorded.
- The CSO continues to examine PULSE data in order to improve the quality of crime data recording and inform users about related concerns. The CSO engages with An Garda Síochána via its High Level Liaison Group to outline and discuss data quality concerns.
- The CSO has outlined to An Garda Síochána its data requirements for a detailed assessment of PULSE data quality which will be carried out during 2018, based on incident and associated data reported during 2017.
Some €330 million, including €205 million under the Capital Plan, is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021. This major investment will allow An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in the fight against crime and will facilitate progress on important reforms arising from the Garda Inspectorate's report on Crime Investigation, including those relevant to the compilation of crime statistics.