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People on bail suspected of committing 19,000 crimes last year

This was a sharp decrease in the amount of crimes said to have been committed by these suspects last year.

File photo
File photo
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THE NUMBER OF crimes committed by people who were out on bail fell by more 27% last year, with 18,926 crimes recorded by such suspects in 2016.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office provide a breakdown by type of crime, with one murder allegedly committed by someone out on bail last year.

There were also 18 sexual offences and 591 instances of attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harrassments and related offences.

Furthermore there were more than 1,000 burglaries committed, and 4,545 instances of theft reported in these cases in 2016.

In 2015, over 26,000 crimes were committed by suspects out on bail. Across the 16 categories listed by the CSO, there were less crimes committed in each one last year when compared to 2015.

Since 2004, a total of 302,816 crimes have been recorded where the suspect(s) were out on bail.

The figures emerged after a question was asked in the Dáil by Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan, who was furnished with the details by the CSO at the request of Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.

A new Bail bill was put forward by the government some time ago, which Fitzgerald says looks at “strengthening our bail system and making the law as effective as possible in protecting the public against crimes committed by persons on bail”.

Although it was published in July 2015, the bill required “considerable time for drafting”. In the meantime, the Bail (Amendment) Bill will attempt to achieve this aims before the larger bill “can be returned to when other priorities permit”, according to the Tánaiste.

In the past, Galway TD Noel Grealish has called for tougher action to be taken on this issue.

He said: “It is equivalent to 500 crimes per week being carried out by people who have already been charged with a criminal offence, in respect of which they are awaiting their day in court.”

Grealish added that many of those involved had “brought terror to society”.

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Sean Murray

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