Tuesday 17 September 2019

Sharp rise in the number of offences committed on bail

Stock photo
Stock photo

Paul Melia and Cormac McQuinn

Almost 130 sex offences and 34 homicides have been committed since 2013 while suspects were on bail, new figures show.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported in the five years between 2013 and 2017, 116,902 incidents occurred where at least one of the suspected offenders involved was on bail at the time.

And the figures have steadily risen, increasing from 16,323 in 2013 to 21,924 the following year, 24,821 in 2015, 25,486 in 2016 and 28,384 last year. This represents an increase of 12,025 between 2013 and 2017, or 73pc.

A breakdown shows that 128 sexual offences have been committed, with 30 last year - the highest number over the five years.

There were 34 homicides, 50 kidnappings, 1,728 robberies, 7,120 burglaries and 8,890 controlled drug offences in the five years. There were also 27,802 thefts, more than 20,500 public order offences and 2,137 cases involving weapons or explosives.

The remainder of the offences relate to threats to murder/harassment, dangerous or negligent acts, fraud, or damage to property.

The CSO said the crime figures were subject to revision and change. There are none available for 2018.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan said the conviction of Eoin Berkley once again highlighted the "dangers associated with the violation of bail conditions".

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time that failure to enforce bail conditions has resulted in tragic consequences," he said, adding his party proposed legislation last year to make bail laws more strict, but it was opposed.

Irish Independent

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