CSO data needed in order to tackle knife crime, says FF

Fianna Fáil's Justice Spokesperson fears Gardaí will not be able to tackle knife crime effectively due to a lack of data on the issue.

Knife seizures rose by 66% from 2016 to 2018, however, crimes involving knives are not recorded by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Just under 40,000 knife offences were recorded across England and Wales last year.

Deputy Jim O'Callaghan says it is an issue we should be keeping track of.

"I just think we need to be careful," said Mr O'Callaghan.

We see in the neighbouring jurisdiction in England and Wales - particularly in London - a growing problem in respect of knife crime violence.

"I don't think we have reached anywhere near that level yet but we need to be careful that young men don't get the impression that it is acceptable for them to carry knives or that they need to carry knives.

"It is totally unacceptable behaviour."

The CSO, however, have said that they have no role in recording crimes that are reported to gardaí.

In a statement, they said: "Recorded Crime statistics are based wholly and necessarily on the administrative records of crime incidents recorded by An Garda Síochána on the PULSE system.

"The CSO has no role in recording crimes reported to An Garda Síochána.

"The quality and usefulness of Recorded Crime statistics are ultimately determined by the quality of the data recorded and maintained on PULSE by An Garda Síochána.

"In March 2018 the CSO took the decision to publish Recorded Crime statistics as ‘Statistics Under Reservation’. This decision was taken to make users aware that the CSO has ongoing concerns regarding the quality of the underlying data used to compile the statistics."

This story was updated on April 16 at 11.20am to include a statement from the CSO.

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