Increase in crime linked to policy of austerity – Senator Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin’s Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has said there is a direct relation between an increase in crime figures and the government’s policy of austerity. Speaking during debate on the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill 2015, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:
“I welcome the targeting of serial offenders in this Bill but the increase in the numbers of burglaries is a result of decisions made by this government.
“CSO data shows that when comparing the year ending June 2014 with the year ending 2015 assaults increased by 10% from 14,548 to 16,054, burglaries by 8% from 26,589 to 28,830, sexual offences by 3% from 2,006 to 2,072, and theft by 2% to 78,885.
“The data shows that fraud offences increased by 6% to 5,337.
“In the past year the number of burglaries has risen by 2241 and in Dublin alone burglaries have risen by 15%.
“Added to this is the problem of under-reporting. For example an audit of 2011 Garda statistics by the CSO in June 2015 located 75,000 crimes that the Gardaí had not recorded.
“Then we have the closure of Garda Stations which has resulted in a miniscule saving of €556,000 per annum.
“Such a small saving has had a disproportionate negative effect within rural communities.
“Closing Garda stations undermines community confidence in policing.
“As always, it is the isolated and the vulnerable who suffer most under this government and this Bill, which does not address the root causes of the increase in criminal activity”.