Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has said the latest statistics published by ISME showing that businesses had lost faith in our criminal justice system should act as a wake-up call for Government in how it reforms bail legislation.

Deputy Collins stated: “This ISME survey confirms what we have been hearing from both business and individual victims of crime alike, that our justice system is failing to prevent or punish those who engage in crime. It is not acceptable that hard working people who struggle to run their business, creating employment and tax revenues for the state feel as though the State’s justice system is indifferent to their significant problems with criminal activity.

“Most worryingly of all is the fact that over 98% of those surveyed feel current legislation is ineffective while 20% do not even consider reporting crime to the Gardaí because they feel it’s pointless to do so. There needs to be proper punishments in place with real consequences for those who engage in criminal activity.

“I believe one area that undermines victims’ confidence in our criminal justice system is our soft bail laws which allow individuals charged with theft offences to avoid custody despite significant previous offences and their potential to re-offend while on bail. One of the most shocking statistics released to me through Parliamentary Question was that over 23,262 offences in the area of theft were committed while an individual was on bail from 2011 to date.  This shows that the system of bail needs to be radically reformed with more stringent restrictions on the right to bail for theft and related offences.  Statistics from the same PQ showed that 8,077 burglaries were committed by people who were on bail in the same period and 38 homicides were committed by individuals on bail from 2011 to date.”