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Crime

Just 22 per cent of witness intimidation cases lead to a conviction

Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan says that there must be ‘at least 50 per cent convictions’.

JUST 73 PEOPLE have been convicted of witness intimidation in the last decade.

The figures, presented by Justice Minister ALan Shatter show that just 22 per cent of all cases of the crime lead to a conviction.

Responding to a question from Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan, shatter revealed that noboody had been convicted in 2012, despite there being 15 proceedings brought in the year, as well as 58 in the previous year.

The response points out that proceedings may carry on into subsequent years, but Durkan feels that the conviction rate is much too low.

“Thing about it is that number of reported incidents is left out. I would suspect that it would be higher, but what we have is not a comprehensive response to the question.

There is a disproportionately high number of proceedings and a low number of convictions.  You’d want to see at least 50 per cent convictions from a crime like this.

Durkan, who has put down a subsequent question to the Minister, says that the only way to stamp out the crime of witness intimidation is to increase the level of convictions.
“There’s an urgent necessity to put in what’s needed. We need sufficient resources to deal with all of the recorded incidents.

We need to know the reasons why there is such a low conviction rate.  We have to make sure it doesn’t pay to go into that arena if you’re involved in crime.

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