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Here’s how repeat offenders causing ‘havoc’ are going to be tackled

Gardaí, the Irish Prison Service, and the Probation Service are joining forces on the initiative.

Image: break in via Shutterstock

Updated at 11.30am

REPEAT OFFENDERS CAUSING havoc in their communities will be tackled under a new programme due to be launched later today.

It will take a carrot-and-stick approach to the most prolific re-offenders, with pilot projects aimed at dramatically reducing the rate of reoffending, agencies say.

The Joint Agency Response to Crime (Jarc) will involve An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service.

It will target the top offenders, allowing the agencies to pool resources and communicate effectively.

The strategy aims to address the behaviour of repeat offenders and reduce crime. It will also form part of anti-burglary crackdown Operation Thor.

In a statement, Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald said that as much as 75% of property crime is committed by 25% of offenders.

“Targeting this cohort of repeat offenders has the potential to
significantly reduce the number of burglaries being committed,” she said.

Fitzgerald added:

“It makes sense that by targeting identified prolific offenders with cross-cutting initiatives like this one, that address their criminal behaviour and the harm it does, crime will be reduced and public safety increased.”

Director of the Probation Service Vivian Geiran said the initiative will target offenders who are causing “the most difficulty and most problems and havoc for their communities”.

“We will discourage their offending where we have to, specifically by garda intervention and imprisonment if needs be,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

“We’ll also help them to stop offending through interventions by the Probation Service advocating for services that they may need, and facilitating their movement away from crime.

We do have to use the carrot and the stick.

“If people are not cooperating with us while they’re on on bail, for example, their bail will be opposed in the courts. If they’re on early release from prison and they’re not cooperating, we’ll have them returned to prison.”

18/5/2015. Prison Probation Reports Vivian Geiran Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Geiran said that four pilot projects have been taking place in recent months across Dublin – in Ballymun, the south inner city, Tallaght, and one initiative targeting violent crime across the city.

Geiran added that bail is no longer being used as an “escape value” for overcrowded prisons, and that community return schemes – temporary release combined with supervised community service –  have seen compliance rates of around 90% over the past four years.

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Nicky Ryan

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