Tipperary Garda Division is to receive 13 new Garda vehicles in total during 2015 to boost the fight against rural crime. Some of these vehicles are already in action, according to Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan.
“New Garda vehicles will really help the fight against crime in our communities. While better road networks provide great opportunities for local businesses, they also make it easier for burglars to travel to and from the Tipperary Division area. New legislation planned by the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, will also keep repeat offenders in prison for longer and act as a significant deterrent,” said Deputy Coonan. “Providing resources for Gardaí and ensuring that legislation is in place to deter repeat offenders is essential to preventing rural crime.”
Deputy Coonan further added: “In addition to the new vehicles for 2015, €27.5m was invested in new Garda vehicles between 2012 and 2014, which was an increase on the €4.8m allocated by the previous Government in Budgets 2009-2011.
“This Government is also strengthening An Garda Síochána for the future by reopening the Garda training college in Templemore and recruiting 550 new Gardaí. The first intake of 100 new recruits entered Templemore in September 2014 and passed out in April of this year. A further 200 recruits entered in December 2014 and February 2015, with 250 more expected to begin training later this year. When Fianna Fáil closed Templemore it was a major blow to An Garda Síochána and to rural areas.
“Our local Gardaí will be really bolstered by this influx of new vehicles and Gardaí, which is part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to fight crime.
“The Minister will shortly publish the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill which will address issues relating to bail and sentencing for repeat burglars of homes. Firstly, the Bill will provide that for the purposes of bail applications, previous convictions for domestic burglary coupled with pending charges or recent convictions shall be considered as evidence that an accused person is likely to commit further domestic burglaries. Secondly, the Bill will require a court which decides to impose custodial sentences for multiple domestic burglary offences committed within a 12 month window, to impose such sentences consecutively,” said Deputy Coonan.