Fine Gael’s justice plans will protect communities in Wicklow – Harris

Wicklow Fine Gael Minister and General Election candidate Simon Harris has welcomed Fine Gael’s justice plan which will help to protect communities from crime throughout Wicklow.  

Commenting on these justice plans, Minister Harris stated: “Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going is founded on three steps: more and better jobs; making work pay; and investing in better services. One of the most important of these services is the one provided by our Gardaí in protecting Wicklow communities. With the resources created by a stronger economy and increased employment, Fine Gael will continue to increase the numbers of Gardaí protecting people in our communities.

“Fine Gael is determined to take the fight to the criminals. We are the party of law and order, the party that reopened Templemore Garda training college, after Fianna Fáil shut it down.  We will not let it close again and we will ensure 600 new recruits annually. We will free up 300 Gardaí from administrative duties by hiring civilians and doubling the Garda reserve to support Gardaí in delivering front line, visible policing.  We secured €46 million funding for 1,700 new vehicles and €205 million for the most comprehensive upgrade of the Garda ICT system since the foundation of the force.  We will ensure a visible, mobile, dynamic policing force to keep communities safe and bring criminals to justice.

“Fine Gael’s policing reform gets our Gardaí out doing what they do best, protecting our communities from crime.

“Serious and serial offenders must continue to be caught and imprisoned, and not free to commit crime in Wicklow. Under Fine Gael, the Government has already introduced tougher sentences to keep repeat burglars off the streets.  Operation Thor has led to 550 arrests in three months and reported burglaries are down 33%.  We will go further and introduce a new sentencing policy to end automatic remission and ensure tougher sentences for repeat offenders across a range of categories, including firearms, knife crime and serious assaults.  New bail legislation will allow for refusal of bail for repeat serious offenders and we will increase the use of electronic tagging for those on bail or conditional release.  Fine Gael has also reformed the way our legal services industry works, and established a new court of appeal and a second Special Criminal Court to reduce delays in court proceedings.

“We are the only Party with a Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going so that we can build on the progress already made to ensure safer communities and swifter justice for all people,” concluded Minister Harris.

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