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Government anti-gang proposals will not reduce serious crime – Ó Snodaigh

13 May, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the package of measures to fight crime approved by cabinet yesterday will not reduce serious crime levels. Deputy Ó Snodaigh described the measures as superficial, populist and ultimately ineffective.

He said, "Sinn Féin has consistently called on the Minister for Justice to bring forward a robust package of realistic and effective measures to tackle serious crime but we are extremely disappointed with the package that the Minister is bringing forward.

"The anti-crime measures proposed by government are a lesson in how to lose the war on gangs.

"Alongside this package the government have imposed restrictions on Garda overtime and a ban on recruitment and promotions. The force are to remain dependent on outdated and inadequate equipment and the one avenue through which the community can confidently confidentially report crime indirectly to Gardaí, the successful Dial to Stop Drug Dealing non Garda phone-line, is set to close this autumn if not earlier.

"The Minister is attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with a package of dubious, populist, in many ways superficial and ultimately ineffective cheap and easy measures. This package represents the lazy way out. It will not reduce serious crime.

"Sinn Féin has made a wide range of realistic and potentially effective proposals for tackling serious crime in our document 'Policing with the Community in 2009'. These measures are urgently required.

"We also fully recognise that the vast majority of serious crime is drug-related and so we have also compiled and submitted to government detailed proposals aimed at maximising both demand reduction and supply reduction.

"If this government was really serious about tackling gangland crime would they continue with their plans to savagely cut the budgets of the local drugs task forces who are tasked with reducing demand for the illegal trade that gives rise to so much gangland violence, as came to light last week? The voting public needs to take this on board when casting their vote in next month’s election rather than simply accepting at face value the Government’s repeatedly announced populist proposals." ENDS

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