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Question

782. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice the number of homicides involving a knife that were recorded by An Garda Síochána in each of the years 2015 to 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16404/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 for the management and administration of Garda business. This includes the administration of the PULSE system. As Minister I have no role in these operational matters.
I have requested a report on the information required by the Deputy and have been advised by the Garda authorities that in relation to the information requested, it is not possible to provide an answer.
To obtain the information requested would require a significant effort to examine individual homicide incidents (which include a number of incident types) in order to determine which involved the use of a knife, which would represent a significant expenditure of Garda time and resources.
I have been advised that this is due to the recording of cases involving the use of knives on PULSE, including cases where there was possession of a knife, but it was used to threaten rather than injure. It would not therefore be possible to rely on this information alone to identify where the death occurred as a result of injuries sustained from a knife. Certain information may also only be recorded in investigation files and not within the PULSE narrative, which would not be captured in a search described above of PULSE.
Additionally, as has been noted by the Policing Authority, whilst progress has been made on work arising from the Homicide Investigation Review Team (HIRT), this remains on-going in relation to changes to investigative policies and procedures. The work of the HIRT covered some but not all of the years included in the query and this would affect the comparability of the data over the time period requested.