New FF Bill will beef up battle against rural crime – Smith

– CCTVs at all motorway junctions to detect mobile criminal gangs –

Fianna Fáil has published a new Bill, which will aim to clamp down on the spate of rural crime sweeping across the country by targeting mobile gangs.

The Bill introduced in the Dáil last week will set up CCTV cameras at all major road junctions in order to assist Gardai in identifying and apprehending criminal gangs using the motorway network. It will be debated in the Dáil in the coming months but requires Government support for it to come into law.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith explained, “Communities across Cavan and Monaghan have been hit by a spike in crime over the past year.  Many of these robberies are being carried out by organised gangs who tour the country and mark out areas to target.  These gangs are travelling from the bigger towns and cities, using the motorway network as an easy access route.  We need to ensure that greater protection measures are put in place to guard against these targeted attacks and these proposals will go a long way to achieving that.

“There have been a number of particularly high profile robberies in Cavan and Monaghan in recent months and communities are genuinely living in fear.  We cannot continue to allow career criminals abuse our motorway network to terrorise people in their own homes and businesses.  Fianna Fáil has consistently called for more resources for Gardai to tackle rural crime and the rolling out of CCTV along our motorways will provide additional supports to officers on the ground.

“This is a simple, practical Bill to help the Gardai do their job. The Cavan-Monaghan division has suffered a huge depletion in Garda numbers over the past four years and every available resource is needed to assist the officers who are tasked with policing this area.  Nationally there has been an 8% increase in crime levels, and the fear levels in communities across Cavan and Monaghan are rising as well.  This Bill is one step on the road to addressing this.

“We want to see this proposed legislation debated as quickly as possible.  The Government claims to be committed to tackling rural crime, it should back up these claims by supporting this Bill when it reaches the floor of the Dáil”.