Dublin South West Fianna Fáil Councillor John Lahart has warned the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald not to drag her heels on promised regulation of the Cash for Gold sector.
Cllr Lahart, who has highlighted the link between the out of control Cash for Gold industry and the surge of burglaries in Dublin, has welcomed the Minister’s confirmation that she is considering regulation of the sector. However, he has warned that a ‘consultation document’ falls far short of the immediate action that is required.
“The Government is coming to this issue far too late. The Cash for Gold sector is completely out of control and there is no doubt that this has fuelled the surge in burglaries across south and west Dublin. While I am glad that the Minister has finally realised that this is a problem, having reviewed her announcement, the promise of a consultation process is not enough. However I do welcome this late realisation from Government that there is in fact a connection between burglaries and cash for gold and cash for jewellery sales.
“Unfortunately communities across Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Knocklyon and Tallaght have seen the impact of the Government’s disinterest in tackling the spate of burglaries and thefts in this area. They’ve heard many promises from the Government but have seen absolutely no action, except the removal of yet more garda local garda resources.
“The Government spent four years of denying the fact that burglaries in Dublin have been a serious crime issue, and are continuing to rise. During that period, our local garda resources were slashed. The last thing we need now is lip service, or yet another empty promise aimed at buying time until the election.
“It is no secret that there has been a huge increase in the criminal trade of stolen jewellery, gold and scrap metal. Local gardaí have told me that the gangs carrying out burglaries in the area in recent months and years are focused on taking jewellery and gold as they are easy to sell on with no questions asked. By failing to regulate the sale of such metals, we are encouraging more burglaries.
“The Government doesn’t need a ‘consultation’ to deal with this issue. They could introduce controls right now. This should include a register to identify the seller of items to gold outlets, a retention period before the item can be resold and a record of transactions at gold outlets.”