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Friday 15 November 2019

FF plans to tighten bail law in crime crackdown

Bail applicants who have a previous conviction for a serious offence will be electronically tagged before they are released under Fianna Fail plans to crack down on crime
Bail applicants who have a previous conviction for a serious offence will be electronically tagged before they are released under Fianna Fail plans to crack down on crime

Bail applicants who have a previous conviction for a serious offence will be electronically tagged before they are released under Fianna Fail plans to crack down on crime.

The party wants to tighten bail laws, set up a special task force within An Garda Siochana to tackle rural crime and increase funding and support for garda-controlled CCTV to detect and deter criminal activity.

Fianna Fail justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan told a private meeting of TDs and senators at the party's Wexford think-in that illegal drug use has become a major problem across the country and is no longer just an urban issue.

The use of cocaine in Ireland has doubled in the past six years - faster than most European countries, the meeting heard.

Mr O'Callaghan said cocaine is fuelling feuds between criminals, with recorded drug offences in the Northern Region doubling since 2016.

Various criminal offences had risen nearly 30pc, he said.

Fraud, deception and related offences were up 29pc between 2016 and 2018, with the number of recorded sexual offences increasing by 26pc in the same period.

However, the number of murders fell by 15pc, with burglary and related offences falling by nearly 10pc.

Under Fianna Fail's proposals, it would become more difficult to get bail.

Electronic monitoring would be a condition of bail where an applicant had been convicted of a serious offence in the previous decade, or where the person was alleged to have committed the offence while on bail for a separate offence.

The Dublin Bay South TD said that his party's proposed reform must be funded and pointed out in his presentation that gardai had footed the bill for the recent visits of US President Donald Trump and his Vice-President Mike Pence.

Veto

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has signalled his party will seek to veto a €10 increase in the carbon tax in Budget talks.

While the Government is being advised to increase the €20 per tonne carbon tax by €10 from next year, Mr Martin said "it could be €5 or the €6".

At the conclusion of his party's Wexford think-in, Mr Martin warned against an immediate sharp increase in the carbon tax.

"If you go at it too heavy in the early years you can actually jeopardise the whole political acceptability of it," he said.

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