Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins says the Government needs to take a tougher approach to tackle crime, and particularly burglaries, following the publication of the latest crime stats. The CSO figures reveal a startling increase in the number of burglaries carried out over the past year.

Deputy Collins explained, “There has been a 7% rise in burglaries between September 2014 and September 2015, however some parts of the country have seen truly staggering increases. Certain areas in south Dublin have seen burglaries jump by 42% – that’s seven times the national average. In North Cork there was a 36% increase, while Kildare witnessed a 24% rise.

“Communities across the country are living in fear. Most have already been the target of these crimes, some have fallen victim on more than one occasion. It is no surprise that many of the areas affected have seen a drop in Garda numbers over recent years. The promise of “smart policing” is now ringing hollow as they pick up the pieces following the latest incident.

“This Government talks tough but acts soft on crime. Recently in the Dáil the Minister for Justice rejected Fianna Fáil proposals for mandatory three year sentences for criminals convicted of burglary. She also refused to accept my proposal for a minimum seven year jail term for a third burglary conviction.

“We need a firm crackdown on the rise in burglaries in both urban and rural areas. Criminals convicted of burglary are habitually walking free after receiving suspended sentences and this is simply not acceptable.

“If we want security in our homes we won’t get it from this Government. Fianna Fáil will be resolute in pushing for tougher legislation in this area. We have a dedicated 7 point plan to tackle crime in our communities and we want to enact it”.