Just months before the next general election the Government has finally moved to take action on the wave of burglaries that have hit communities across the country, according to Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Kildare North Cllr James Lawless.
Cllr Lawless made the comments as the Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill 2015 makes its way through the Dáil.
“Communities in Kildare have been on alert in recent years due to a spike in crime. I have held a number of public meetings on crime in recent months and it is clear people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of action in dealing with criminals. The recent spate of violent attacks during burglaries on elderly people in their homes has left many people living in constant fear.”
“The closure of garda stations and the massive reduction in garda numbers over the last four years has left many communities less policed and more isolated. There have been particular high profile cases of aggravated burglaries and even tragic incidents where people have been seriously affected or died arising from their home being invaded by criminals. We need a tough response to the gangs targeting communities and many older citizens.
“The Government’s legislation introduced today targets reform of bail, sets out tougher sentences and deals with the problem of repeat and serial offenders. Fianna Fáil supports the legislation. Targeting this cohort of repeat offenders has the potential to significantly reduce the number of burglaries being committed. Fianna Fáil has already published a Bill to introduce a mandatory three years in jail for criminals convicted of burglary and a minimum of seven years on the third burglary conviction within 12 months.
“I recently qualified as a barrister and have seen first-hand how our court system is struggling to deal with repeat offenders. We need to adequately resource both the Gardai and the Courts to ensure those that are terrorising our communities are identified and prevented from carrying out criminal acts. I have been working on a number of initiatives locally, such as the rollout of text alert systems, with the aim of disrupting criminals.”