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De Brún - Tougher sentencing a welcome first step

9 December, 2003

West Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Bairbre de Brún has welcomed the announcement of tougher sentencing for car criminals as 'a first step in what is required to effectively tackle this serious problem'.

Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin has consistently supported the families of those bereaved through car crime in their campaign for tougher sentencing. Indeed Gerry Adams sponsored a visit by the Families Bereaved Through Car Crime group to Westminster to lobby for this type of change.

"However the increase in sentencing can only provide a small part of the overall solution. Sinn Féin are seeking increased support for initiatives which can tackle the root causes of this behaviour including schemes around education and social inclusion.

"Also central to the overall solution to the problem of car crime is the creation of an acceptable community based policing service. For too long the RUC and now the PSNI have turned a blind eye to the activities of car thieves and other anti-social elements as a way to destabilise communities and recruit informers.

"Sinn Féin will continue to support those campaigning to see solutions to the scourge of car crime brought forward and we will continue to support those families who have been bereaved in their campaign against this type of activity." ENDS

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