Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan denies claims that crime statistics are being massaged

Tuesday 30 April 2013 21.58
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The GRA is holding its annual conference in Co Mayo
The GRA is holding its annual conference in Co Mayo
Martin Callinan said there was no information or evidence for the GRA's allegations
Martin Callinan said there was no information or evidence for the GRA's allegations

The Garda Commissioner has said it was not true to say that crimes reported to gardaí were not investigated without a formal statement.

Martin Callinan was responding to a claim by Garda Representative Association President John Parker that crime figures were "massaged".

Mr Parker said earlier today that some crimes are not being recorded and others are being filed in less serious categories.

He was speaking at the GRA's annual conference in Co Mayo as figures from the Central Statistics Office showed a reduction in crime between 2007 and 2011.

Mr Callinan said he spoke to Mr Parker this afternoon and that Mr Parker told him he had no evidence or information to indicate anything was wrong with the system of recording crime.

The Commissioner insisted that all crimes were fully investigated and categorisation was a matter for the investigating officer.

Earlier, the GRA said guidelines in place since 2011 mean that even if a crime occurs, it is not recorded unless the victim makes a full statement.

Mr Parker said burglaries where nothing is stolen are being categorised as less serious criminal damage.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One, he said that in relation to evidence that anything is wrong with the system of recorded crime, he was being descriptive in what he meant in his comments to the GRA conference.

Mr Callinan also rejected criticism of the garda fleet by the association, which said gardaí are pursuing armed criminals in "lawnmowers".

He said that new smaller vans, 80 of which have been purchased, were fit for purpose and suitable for transferring prisoners.

According to the CSO figures, gardaí solved four out of every five homicides during the 2007-2011 period.

However, an average of only one out of every four recorded burglaries and one out of every three thefts were detected.

The volume of burglaries also increased by 17% over the four years.

Robberies, extortion and hijackings were up by over a third, while homicides dropped by over half.

Elsewhere, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that crimes on the PULSE system were monitored and reviewed to ensure that crimes were classified property.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that that resources and morale are an all-time low in the force.