TD wants burglars to pay victims for cost of break-in
THE Government is looking at a plan to force burglars to pay compensation to their victims.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said it was a "worthwhile and constructive" proposal and he would get Justice Minister Alan Shatter to consider it.
Independent TD John Halligan said he wanted to see legislation that forces the perpetrators to pay the costs of items stolen from their wages or social welfare.
The Waterford TD said the rate of burglaries is trebling in some areas.
"This is destroying people's lives throughout the country. There is a fear among people that they are being abandoned.
"Often I have been in court when an out-of-touch judge, because of some do-gooder, will say kind words about the perpetrator while the victim is left abandoned," he said.
Mr Halligan asked the Government to think about bringing in legislation to force burglars "whether a community or custodial sentence or whatever is handed down" to repay the cost of the damage they have done to their victims.
"Under such legislation, every judge in every district court in Ireland would be instructed that the perpetrator, regardless of means, would make reparation, which could be deducted from the guilty party's wages or social welfare payments," he said.
Mr Gilmore agreed the issue of burglary is "serious and relevant".
"There is an absolute sense of violation felt by the victims of home burglaries. The sense that someone has been in one's home and bedroom tampering with one's personal belongings is unnerving," he said.
Mr Gilmore said he would bring the proposal to Mr Shatter to consider.