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Sinn Féin comment on new public protection sentences for sexual and violent crimes

17 May, 2008


Commenting on tough new public protection sentences for those convicted of sexual and violent crimes, announced by Direct Rule Minister Paul Goggins, Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board member Alex Maskey has said,

"There is a considerable level of frustration and anger that exists about the anti-community and criminal activity from a tiny minority.

"Sinn Féin have reguarly met with Paul Goggins on community safety and recently launched a community safety forum in West Belfast and have submitted a response to the Draft Criminal Justice Order 2007.

"Sinn Féin support the aims of enhancing public protection and enhancing public confidence in the criminal justice system.

"The key question for all of us in reviewing today's announcement by Paul Goggins is whether these measures will actually accomplish the above objectives.

"This is in reality a purely political response to what are real and genuine public fears and concerns that the proposed new sentence arrangements, which have already been introduced in England and Wales, are not based on research or evidence, but rather are a political reaction to public and media concern.

"While we generally support the establishment of an Independent Parole Commission, appointments to this body must be made within a transparent, merit based and accountable process."

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