The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has called for a statement from the Justice Minister Alan Shatter following claims that official crime statistics are being ‘massaged’.
Deputy Collins said Minister Shatter has a duty to immediately respond to the claims made at the annual conference of the Garda Representatives Association.
“People who are already anxious about home security and personal safety will be extremely concerned at suggestions that the extent of crime in the community is being downplayed,” said Deputy Collins.
“Minister Shatter has been quick to jump on any opportunity offered by the CSO’s statistics to publicly claim that crime rates are going down, in a blatant attempt to justify his controversial policing agenda. In the public interest, he needs to be just as eager to clarify concerns about the veracity of these figures.
“The public has a right to expect absolute transparency when it comes to official information about crime rates in their community. That right is particularly important as the Minister seeks to completely change the direction of community policing in this country. Equally, the gardaí must be supported in ensuring that the statistics they record are as accurate a reflection of reality as it possible.”
Deputy Collins concluded, “I sought to raise this matter with the Minister in the Dáil today by way of a Topical Issue debate, but my request was denied. These are very serious claims, and they warrant a serious and timely response from the Minister.”