Garda crime figures are once again being questioned

A leading charity has questioned the accuracy of Garda statistics on crimes against women after the PSNI recorded nearly five times more domestic violence incidents in Northern Ireland, which has a population a quarter the size of the Republic’s.

Women’s Aid Ireland, a national support organisation for abused women and children, said it has been raising the issue “for years” with senior Gardai and believes the statistics “are not at all reliable”.

The charity hopes new Garda recording guidelines will provide a more accurate picture.

Director of Women’s Aid Margaret Martin says the latest data highlights concerns they have had for years about the figures.

She said:

“You have 29,000 records up in Northern Ireland and 5,000 records for the Republic of Ireland. Now that doesn’t make sense.

“There is nothing that would give anybody any indication that there are higher levels of reported abuse in Northern Ireland, so there is something that’s not right that needs to be addressed.”