Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said that a new law, which will clampdown on repeat burglary offenders, will make a significant difference in tackling crime in Counties Meath and Westmeath. Minister English was speaking following the publication of the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill 2015 by his colleague Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald T.D.
“Garda Síochána data shows that 75% of burglaries are committed by the same 25% of burglars. It is clear that it is the same few who are causing trauma for many, and that the deterrents in place up until now were not enough. This new Bill is targeted at those repeat burglars who have previous convictions and who are charged with multiple offences.
“The new Bill will mean that where a burglar is being sentenced for multiple offences, the District Court will impose consecutive jail sentences. This new law will also allow the courts to refuse bail for offenders who have a previous conviction for domestic burglary, coupled with two or more pending charges.
“I am confident that targeting repeat offenders has the potential to significantly reduce the number of burglaries being committed here in Meath West and across the country.
“Home is the place where we should all feel most safe and secure. This is why Minister Fitzgerald undertook a review of how the criminal justice system treats burglaries.
“This Bill is designed to keep repeat burglars off the streets and to improve the safety of our communities. “In addition to the new legislation €700,000 has also been allocated to An Garda Síochána for the purchase of specialist vehicles to support the Gardaí in tacking highly-mobile criminal gangs, including those involved in burglaries.
“I hope that the Bill will be passed by the Dáil and Seanad as early as possible, so that this law can be implemented to tackle burglars affecting homes and families in Meath and Westmeath” concluded Minister English.