Longer sentences to deter burglars and keep our homes safer – Feighan
Fine Gael TD for Roscommon/south Leitrim, Frank Feighan, has said that the planned longer prison sentences for burglary will help to deter burglars and keep our homes safer. Deputy Feighan was speaking after the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, published the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill.
“This is important legislation being introduced by Minister Frances Fitzgerald to allow for longer prison sentences for burglars. It is clear that those who engage in burglary are not currently put off by the sentences imposed on those who are caught. Tougher punishments are needed to deter repeat offenders.
“Minister Fitzgerald has confirmed that this is a short simple piece of legislation and so we should see this in law by the end of this legislative term. Of course in order to impose these sentences, we need to catch the burglars. The Gardaí are being bolstered to allow for this. This Government reopened Templemore last year after Fianna Fáil closed it during their time in office. Another 250 recruits are entering training this year in addition to the 300 who entered last September, bringing the total to 550. We are upgrading Garda technology, enhancing the integrity of crime statistics and, at the beginning of this year, we added 370 new Garda vehicles which are being delivered on a weekly basis right across the country.
“This new Bill will target two particular issues in order to cut down on burglary: the repeat offenders who continue to receive bail despite being arrested and charged for further burglaries multiple times while on bail; and the current problem of the imposition of short sentences when multiple burglary offences are taken into account.
“The Bill will also place a requirement on a court which decides to impose custodial sentences for multiple burglary offences to impose such sentences consecutively, which will keep criminals off our streets for longer.”