A GARDA watchdog has found "systemic failures" in the way gardai record and report crime.
The Garda Inspectorate Report on Crime Investigation said the force is falling short in several areas.
The 500-page report outlines a range of issues that have created the "perfect storm", from cutbacks in the recession to an administrative overload on garda superintendents.
The report highlights serious systemic weaknesses in the force and identifies the absence of up-to-date dispatch technology.
The review also showed that a number of serious crimes such as rape, burglary and robbery were recorded at least one week after they had been reported to gardai.
It found that 999 calls made by the public and crimes reported to the gardai were not always recorded, while recorded crimes could be placed in the wrong category.
And it finds particular flaws in the way gardai handle domestic violence and its victims, but acknowledges that improvements have been made.
In summary, it portrays a force that is badly in need of modernisation and resources.
A total of 200 recommendations have been put forward, which the Garda Inspectorate said should be introduced on a short, medium and long-term basis.
Chief Inspector Bob Olson said the report should be viewed as an opportunity.
"Throughout the country, we found committed and dedicated people and many elements of good practice," he said. "But we also found that those elements of good practice are not being shared or employed."
The report found that the force's PULSE computer system was not fit for purpose.
It said 8.5pc of all crimes recorded on PULSE were reclassified over a 17-month period.
It looked at eight crime categories and examined 2,372 crimes that had been reclassified - 83pc had been moved to a less-serious category and, in the Inspectorate's view, 71pc of the sample had been incorrectly reclassified.
GERRY O'CARROLL: P27