Increased need for Gardaí to investigate and prosecute white collar crime – Mitchell
Speaking during today’s debate on crime, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North, Deputy Denise Mitchell has called for an increase in funding for the units within an Garda Síochána that investigate white collar crime, and for white collar crime to be taken more seriously.
Deputy Mitchell said:
“Crime and the tackling of crime in our society is a huge issue of concern for everyone. Citizens have noticed that there are less Gardaí on the streets, call out times take longer, and in some situations residents never hear anything back.
“But they also know that there has been very little effort made to pursue, investigate, and prosecute white collar crime in any genuine fashion.
“Only last year the Garda Inspectorate claimed that the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GFBI) is struggling and that its software and IT systems are not fit for purpose. Furthermore, it was also reported that the Financial Investigation (FIU) within the GFBI unit has the lack of a dedicated financial analyst.
“If the Gardaí are to have success in tackling white collar crime, then like in all areas of the force, they need increased and intelligent investment. Without this investment their hands are tied and they cannot do their job.
“At the moment there seems to be little confidence among the Irish people that white collar crime is being investigated as seriously as other crime. In order to assure the Irish people that all crime is taken seriously the proper funding needs to be put in place the units who investigate white collar crime, and the criminals who engage in such activity should be prosecuted and sentenced for their criminal activity.
“May I add, while it is often convenient for politicians in the Dáil and those in the media to point fingers at certain areas and claim there is excessive crime there, they rarely ever mention the prevalence of white collar crime in society, or mention the areas where white collar criminals live.
“Just because the perpetrators live in luscious leafy suburbs and wear pin stripped suits doesn’t mean they’re not criminals. All crime should be investigated and prosecuted with the same vigour regardless of the perpetrators or their postcodes.”