Protection, detection and deterrent is the three-pronged approach required to achieve a safe community - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny has today expressed his concern after Gardaí announced a significant rise in burglaries and attacks on those living in rural Ireland.
This includes the particularly vicious attacks on Tom Niland in Sligo, and another older man in Kildare over the last number of weeks.
Teachta Kenny said: “It’s about protection, detection and deterrent. We need significant investment in all three of these areas.
“This is an issue people in rural Ireland have dealt with for many years. An issue which government has consistently failed to tackle with investment in Garda resources, upgrading of protection systems, and investment in supporting victims after crime and deterring offenders.
“In terms of protection, government needs to provide more for preventative measures, particularly for older people.
“This would include resources such as CCTV, panic alarms, and sensor lighting to protect people and property.
“Government needs to consider grant aid for these measures. It would be very important that Garda crime prevention officers would visit and discuss safety measures with older people who feel vulnerable.
“We also need to see an increase in state funding for community initiatives such as Text Alert and Community Alert schemes.
“Detection of crime will continue to be hampered until the Department of Justice adequately resources An Garda Síochána.
“This means investment in human resources, as well as equipment, ICT infrastructure, and community CCTV initiatives. All the evidence shows that it is undoubtedly the case that visible policing, with Gardaí on the streets and on the roads, is the best tool in detecting crime and deterring it.
“While the Minister has announced the requirement of more Gardaí, we need to recruit a great deal more in order to reach the EU average in policing numbers of 318 per 100,000 inhabitants. Sinn Féin in government would work towards record numbers of full-time, community Gardaí.
“At present, the time it takes between the arrest and charging of suspects, and the later prosecution is a serious problem, both for Gardaí and the victims of these crimes. While there are proposals for training of judges around sentencing guidelines, we need to see more of a standardisation of sentencing for aggravated burglaries and assaults.
“There is a significant issue with early release and bail conditions for repeat offenders, which must be examined and remedied as a matter of urgency. Significant sentencing has acted as a deterrent in other jurisdictions, and is something I want to see implemented here.
“People in every part of Ireland deserve to feel safe, secure, and protected as they go about their daily lives. Protection, detection and deterrent is the three-pronged approach required to achieve a safe community.”