Details of new bail bill unveiled

New legislation announced yesterday will make it more difficult for people charged with serious crime to get bail.

In addition, those given bail will be subject to tagging in order to closely monitor their movements.

In some cases, district court judges will have to hear evidence from victims of crime when deciding whether to give an alleged perpetrator bail.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the bill demonstrated the Government’s commitment to fighting crime.

Tagging is currently used only on prisoners taken to hospital or family funerals accompanied by prisoner officers.

Mr Kenny and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald unveiled details of the bill yesterday at the Garda College in Templemore.

The Taoiseach said: “In seeking to address and prevent crime, we need to have a visible and effective policing service that families, businesses, and communities right throughout the State, both urban and rural, can be assured of. I’m proud that, despite the economic crisis we inherited, this Government has placed a firm emphasis on strong and efficient policing.”

Ms Fitzgerald, meanwhile, said the Government’s response to crime was focused on two key objectives: recruiting more gardaí and strengthening the law to get tougher on serious and repeat offenders.

“Today demonstrates how we are delivering on this dual objective,” said Ms Fitzgerald. “Today, we celebrate the passing out of 97 new recruits and today we are also publishing a new bail bill to strengthen the law to protect the public against crimes committed by offenders out on bail.”

The legislation provides for arrest without warrant for breach of bail conditions, where it is necessary to arrest the person immediately to prevent absconding or harm, interference or intimidation to a victim or witness. It also gives the district court power to refuse bail where there is an appeal against a sentence of imprisonment imposed by that court.


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