26/03/2008

Gun Deaths Fail To Get Convictions

Gun related murders have less than a one in six chance of leading to a prosecution, a leading Labour TD has said.

Following further gun crime in Ireland in the last few days with a drive-by style machine gun attack in Co Limerick, Eamon Gilmore of the Labour party put the conviction figures to the Taoiseach during Wednesday’s Leaders questions in the Daíl.

The Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore said: "Of the 150 savage gun murders only one in six has been caught and put away out of society. I know there are difficulties, difficulties of people not talking or being afraid to give evidence.

"This is why the Labour Party proposed two legislative measures that we have been asking the Government to implement since the Dáil resumed last September, the Witness Protection legislation and the Garda Surveillance Bill to give the Gardai the extra powers of surveillance they need to put these gangs away.”

The Labour Leaders figures show 150 people have been shot and killed since 1997, and of these only 24 have been successfully convicted.

In November last year, the Labour Party proposed the Witness Protection Programme Bill, designed to fully implement a witness protection programme on a full statutory basis, under proper and independent oversight of the government.

The Garda Siochana (Powers of Surveillance) Bill, 2007 would then provide the Gardai with appropriate powers to undertake electronic surveillance of criminal suspects.

The bills were designed to combat the increase of gang related crime, presently being tackled by Garda under project Anvil.

(DW)


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