Speaking in relation to the surge of burglaries across rural Ireland Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins set out a seven point plan to confront criminals. “Some 30,000 burglaries have been committed across Ireland over the past year, an 8% increase. Isolated communities and in particular vulnerable older people are living in fear. The vicious natures of the attacks are genuinely shocking. We need clear action by the government to tackle this epidemic head on.
“Fianna Fáil is putting forward a clear seven point plan to confront criminals and keep our families and elderly safe. Our budget document launched this week’s sets out our first year financial commitments to increasing security across the country.
We are committed to strengthening the Garda force to 14,000 members and maintaining Garda numbers at this optimal level. We will seek to increase the Garda Reserve to 2000 members. We will also provide the squad cars necessary for the Gardaí to carry out their duties.
Protect the Elderly
We will enact legislation to introduce longer sentences for those who assault elderly persons who are increasingly vulnerable in rural communities.
We will introduce legislation for mandatory minimum sentences for those who are convicted of burglary offences. We will also establish a Sentencing Council to promote consistency in sentencing.
We commit to establishing a national neighbourhood watch directorate to centrally support and drive community neighbourhood watch programmes across the county.
CCTV on Motorway Network
We will install CCTV cameras on Motorway exits to detect criminal activity.
Investment in Technology
We propose a significant investment programme in the technology Gardaí currently use to allow for smarter policing in our rural communities.
We commit to expanding the use of restorative justice in our criminal justice system where appropriate and ensure that community service orders are fit for purpose and monitored effectively. We will deduct the cost of free criminal legal aid from those convicted from their income and social welfare payments.
“I am calling on the government to take up this plan and implement in full. This is the type of real action we need to confront crime and hit criminals hard,” Deputy Collins concluded.