Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson, Niall Collins says a new departure is needed in fighting crime. He was speaking at an election press conference this morning.

“The bottom line is that the latest developments are just another example of the government allowing issues develop into complete chaos before they act on them. As I’ve said before, Fine Gael talks tough, acts soft, and is always playing catch-up. The announcement yesterday illustrates that this government ignores acting on issues until they become an absolute crisis”

“We need a crime policy that’s ahead of the curve.”

“Having said that resources or the lack of them were not a factor in gangland killings, the Minister for Justice suddenly announces €5 million for a task force on the issue. This of course turns out to be a diversion both politically and in terms of the allocation of gardaí.”

“The AGSI have shown us today that the Gardaí for the new unit comes from other sources. The Minister has yet to give an actual breakdown of how the €5 million is going to be spent ,whether the Gardaí are going to be replaced in the units they are being removed from and also she has not explained why it took three 999 calls before a response headed towards the Regency Hotel last Friday.”

“On Monday last Minister Fitzgerald said this was not a resource issue by Tuesday 5 million extra was being allocated. How can people have confidence in a system like this?”

“I repeat Fianna Fáil’s commitment to a new Serious and Organised Crime Unit. This unit will lead the fight against criminal networks operating in the country.  We will ensure it has the power, finance and political back-up to deliver. Its remit will include co-operation with Interpol and other police agencies.

“A strong Garda force, built up to 15,000 under Fianna Fáil will have a much greater presence.”

The Fianna Fáil Justice spokesperson was also clear and unambiguous in his statement that not only would the Special Criminal Court be retained, its remit would. Nor will the Offences against the State Act be repealed.”

“The powers, the authority and the protection of the Special Criminal Court are now indispensible to rid our society of what is organised criminal terror. The Special Criminal Court stays – and all democratic politicians must recognise the courts.”

Fianna Fáil Proposals to fight crime:

  • Increase Garda Numbers to 15,000 and enable more Gardaí to work on frontline duties.
  • Double the Garda Reserve to 2,500.
  • Set up a Serious and Organised Crime Unit.
  • Retain and expand the Special Criminal Court.
  • Instigate a review of closure of Garda Stations.
  • Provide for mandatory sentences for repeat burglary.
  • Install advanced vehicle recognition CCTV at all motorway junctions.
  • Inaugurate a new Sentencing Council.
  • Enforce mandatory sentences on assaults on older people.
  • Institute a new Community Court structure.
  • Launch a National Major Crimes Investigation Team.
  • Invest in Garda Technology.
  • Expand and enhance the Garda Fleet.