Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says a new Bill, which is being debated this week, will cut down on the number of people committing further offences while out on bail.  The Bail (Amendment) Bill 2017 will see stricter conditions imposed on people who are deemed likely to reoffend.

Deputy Chambers explained, “Ireland has a serious problem with people committing offences while they are out on bail.  In fact, 12% of all crimes last year were committed by people who were on bail for another offence.  This is simply not acceptable and needs to be addressed.

“Fine Gael has ignored the scale of this problem for the past 7 years.  This “soft on crime” approach is not good enough.  Fianna Fáil has stepped up to the mark and is serious about clamping down on recidivism rates.  Last year our Justice Spokesperson brought forward the Bail (Amendment) Bill 2017.  This legislation will be debated in the Dáil this week.

“The Bill fully upholds the fair procedures and the principles of our criminal justice system, while at the same time ensuring that these same principles are not flouted by career criminals.  Serial offenders must be targeted and this Bill will require a Court to refuse an application for bail to a person charged with burglary or aggravated burglary in the previous five years or if the applicant has been charged with and is awaiting trial for 2 or more burglary or aggravated burglary offences.

“The current practice is allowing dangerous criminals to continue to roam the streets and commit serious crimes.  This Bill, along with making it more difficult for repeat offenders to be granted bail, will also allow for the electronic monitoring of offenders as a condition of bail in certain circumstances.

“Fianna Fáil is determined to protect communities from the threats posed by these serial offenders.  This Bill forms part of a wider strategy to get tough on crime and to provide communities with the resources and protection they need to deliver a safer, less fearful society”.