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Children's access to firearms must be addressed by government - Ó Snodaigh

14 November, 2007

“Sinn Féin Dublin TD and Spokesperson on Community Safety Aengus Ó Snodaigh said today research due to be presented on the significant levels of gang involvement and ease of access to firearms highlights the urgent need for government to introduce a focussed holistic programme targeted at children.


Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:


“Research due to be presented at the Psychology Society of Ireland conference tomorrow will outline significant levels of gang involvement and ease of access to firearms by secondary school students surveyed in Dublin.


“These findings warrant an immediate response by government. A focussed holistic programme targeting children at risk of becoming involved in serious crime could create an alternative future and aspirations for these young people.


"The survey is yet another indication of the growing illegal use and availability of firearms in this country. It also highlights the increasingly young ages of those entering the criminal underworld.


“This survey coupled with the relatively young ages of alleged victims and perpetrators of gangland murders reinforces the urgency of government action required.


“Early intervention is key. Government refusal to do so would simply foster a new generation of hardened criminals.


“I am again calling on the government to introduce focused and holistic programmes to create real, attractive and alternative futures for children who are at risk of becoming involved in serious crime when they grow up.


“The government must also ensure that the Criminal Assets Bureau focuses on confiscating the proceeds of serious drug and gun crime which are currently used to fund the ‘flash’ lives that young people otherwise surrounded by disadvantage are exposed to and in some cases aspire to.  The government must ringfence this money to ensure it is reinvested directly into the areas most affected by drugs and criminal gangs.” CRÍOCH

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