Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has welcomed the Central Statistics Office review of the quality of garda crime data which has revealed that one in five crimes reported to gardaí in 2011 didn’t appeared as ‘recorded crimes’ on the official garda system.
Deputy Collins said it’s clear that gardaí are under resourced and cuts made to gardaí in recent years have made it more difficult for gardaí to do their jobs.
Deputy Collins said: “The fact that 18% of crimes reported to the gardaí in 2011 weren’t appropriately recorded on the PULSE system is a cause of serious concern and reinforces the point Fianna Fáil has been making for a number of years now that serious crime has increased in many areas. If the Government wasn’t so out of touch with communities across the country they would have known that the figures being produced were not reflective of the reality on the ground. When will the gardaí be given the necessary resources to tackle crime in our communities?
“This review highlights an 8% increase in burglaries and an 8% increase in assaults in the year to the end of March 2015. In fact many of the major crime headings recorded an increase and the Government is only now waking up to the reality being faced in communities across the country. There is a clear need for extra resources and it is also very clear now that gardaí are stretched and frontline policing has been seriously hit by regressive cuts. Fianna Fáil’s first priority is restoring the strength of the Garda force to 14,000 if re-elected to Government.
“Figures released to Fianna Fáil in recent weeks, after months of Parliamentary Questions to the Justice Minister, revealed that every garda division has seen a cut in garda numbers since the Fine Gael/Labour Government took up office. Dublin has been particularly badly hit. In the Dublin Metropolitan Region North for example, numbers have been cut from 832 in March 2010 to 678 in January 2015. Minister Fitzgerald dragged her feet for months before finally releasing this information. It shows just how under resourced frontline policing has been under this Government and clearly that is impacting on Gardaí and the proper recording of all crimes.
“The review by the CSO is important. It is essential that we have all the appropriate information available to help tackle criminality. I am particularly concerned about the rise in burglaries and assaults. These crimes have a serious impact on the victims. Burglaries are a cause of huge anxiety and in many rural communities the fear of the family home being burgled is a source of a lot of distress. If the Government was not as out of touch with the realities being faced in communities across the country they would have known the official crime figures were not reflective of the reality on the ground and need to be tackled head on.”