“The passage of the Criminal Justice Bill through the Oireachtas is a major boost to crime fighting in Mayo”. That’s according to John O’Mahony Fine Gael Senator
“This Bill gives the Courts more powers in imposing bail conditions, including prohibiting an accused from contacting victims, prohibiting him or her from driving when charged with a serious road traffic offence, and the imposition of a night-time curfew.
“Courts will also be required to take additional factors into account when considering whether to refuse bail to serious offenders including the nature and frequency of previous offending.
“The Bill allows for people on bail to be monitored electronically to demonstrate compliance with bail conditions when requested by the prosecutor.
“This Bill also helps the victims of crime allowing for victim evidence at bail proceedings and the Bill also makes it a requirement that the court give reasons for bail decisions.
I am delighted to see these common sense measures being introduced; they will enhance the powers of our Justice System and should act as a deterrent to repeat offenders, thereby protecting <county> communities.
Commenting on the passage of the Bill, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, said:
“This Bill is an important piece of legislation which will strengthen the powers of the Courts, and of the Gardaí, in dealing with persistent serious offenders and persons on bail who pose an ongoing threat to the public.
"The Bill places a greater emphasis on the rights and the safety of victims, and of the public, in bail decisions, while continuing to safeguard the rights of the accused. It provides increased guidance for the courts and greater transparency in the bail process.”
Fine Gael in Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. 2017 will see 900 trainees become members of An Garda Síochána.
This will bring Garda numbers to about 13,500 by year end, real progress towards the target of 15,000. Furthermore funding has been provided to recruit 500 civilians during 2017 to support the wide ranging reform plan in An Garda Síochána.
In 2016, some €10m was invested in new vehicles for the Garda fleet with 597 vehicles being allocated to the fleet.