Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Paul McAuliffe
Dublin North West

22 February 2016

Fianna Fáil will support victims of crime – McAuliffe

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin North West Cllr Paul McAuliffe maintains that Fianna Fáil will support victims of crime by introducing practical measures if elected to government.

“Victims of crime need to be fully supported. This is an issue that is of most concern to people I meet while canvassing. Too often the justice system seems balanced in favour of criminals and repeat offenders while ordinary people who fall prey to criminality are left unrecognised,” said Cllr McAuliffe.

Under Fianna Fáil’s proposals, criminals convicted of an offence will be expected to pay a new victim’s surcharge. This is a charge to be paid by an offender after they have pleaded guilty or been convicted. The amount depends on the circumstances of the offender and the sentence passed. It will be separate from any fine or other court charge.

“The fees from this surcharge levied on convicted criminals will be ring-fenced for a new Victims’ Support Fund to help finance victim’s support groups. When a court passes a sentence it must also order that the relevant surcharge is paid.”

Fianna Fáil has also proposed the establishment of a Sentencing Commission to reform the area of criminal sentencing, improve consistency and work to enhance public confidence. This new Commission would be tasked with preparing sentencing guidelines for criminal offences.

Cllr McAuliife added: “By establishing clear and accountable guidelines for criminal convictions, judges would be supported in their decision-making while their independence is maintained, something which is paramount in our democratic process and the administration of justice.

“We are firmly committed to making communities safer and ensuring that justice is done and seen to be done for victims of crime. Fianna Fáil wants to support all members of society. ‘An Ireland for all’, is not just a slogan for us. It is a concept that we firmly believe in.”