Quarter of a million crimes committed in past decade by people on bail

Suspects on temporary release commit over 6,000 crimes in first three months of 2016

Quarter of a million crimes committed in past decade by people on bail

File photo: RollingNews.ie

Just over 250,000 crimes have been committed by people on bail over the last decade, the Dáil has heard.

Independent TD Noel Grealish said suspects on temporary release committed 89 murders, 237 serious sexual offences, over 50,000 thefts and more than 18,000 burglaries between 2006 and 2015.

Speaking yesterday, the Galway West TD expressed concern that almost 26,000 crimes were committed last year by people on bail - an increase of 11% on 2014.

“It is equivalent to 500 crimes per week being carried out in Ireland by people who have already been charged with a criminal offence in respect of which they are awaiting their day in court,” he said.

“These are people who have been apprehended by gardaí, charged and then released while a file is sent to the DPP.

“The file could be with the DPP for months. In the meantime, these people are reoffending.

“It is very frustrating for gardaí and it is exceptionally upsetting for the victims of crime, who see the criminal walking down the street and feel intimidated and fearful as a result.”

Citing data he acquired from the CSO, Mr Grealish said a further 6,049 crimes have been committed by people on bail during the first three months of 2016.

The TD called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to commit to taking “vicious criminals off the streets, hold them on remand and not allow them back on the streets to terrorise and reoffend”.

In his response, Mr Kenny said 1,200 new gardaí have now been recruited, with more than €34 million invested in new vehicles, including motorbike and patrol cars.

Almost €400,000 has also been provided this year for the community alert and ‘Crimestoppers’ programmes, he said.

Mr Kenny added that senior gardaí are “well aware of specific gangs carrying out specific burglaries and travelling to various parts of the country to do so”.  

He said Operation Thor has resulted in extra high-visibility patrols and an increased number of checkpoints across the country.