Green Party calls for ‘open data’ approach to Garda statistics

1st February 2018

The Green Party today called for an ‘open data’ approach to Garda statistics to restore confidence in An Garda Síochána after a number of scandals.

The call was made in the party’s submission to the Commission on the Future of Policing.

Speaking today, Green Party Justice Spokesperson, Councillor Roderic O’Gorman said: “Both the breath test scandal and the delay by the Central Statistics Office in releasing the national homicide figures raise questions about the reliability of the method used by An Garda Síochána to produce statistics. This both undermines public confidence in the force, and inhibits meaningful analysis being undertaken on their success in achieving goals. It also undermines accountability, both nationally in the Oireachtas and locally before Joint Policing Committees.

“Since 2009, police forces in England and Wales have been making crime maps and information openly accessible to the public. In 2011, the Police.UK website was launched, and has become extremely popular with heavy site traffic. This site provides street by street information on both crimes committed but also subsequent action taken by the police".

“The Green Party recommends that An Garda Síochána should move to an open data model, where records of criminal acts and subsequent follow-up would be made publicly available online for anyone to use. The Data.Police.UK site could form a model for this. Such data would be available for local areas, rather than just at a district level.”

Other recommendations in the Green Party submission included:

-          A review of cost recovery by the Gardaí for policing major events

-          Rollout of bodycams for Gardaí on patrol

-          Serious modernisation of Garda IT systems, including the website

-      Giving local authorities a clearer role in providing local accountability for policing matters

The full submission can be found here.