Thursday, 27 April 2006
Jim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
The Minister does not seem to accept that we have a huge crime problem in this country. How can we expect a solution from the Government unless he accepts there is a problem? For all his bluster and bravado, does he not agree, now that he is in his fourth year as Minister and with his term nearly over, that crime is worse than ever? I refer to the figures over the nine years the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats Government has been in office. In 1998, the first full year, the crime figure was 85,000 and last year the figures smashed 100,000 for the 12 months. The quarterly figures show an increase of 71% in murder and homicide, a 22% increase in robberies from the person and a 25% increase in thefts from vehicles.
Will the Minister accept that his legacy is that the crime rates are up, the detection rates are down over the same period I mentioned, from 44% to 35%, and the public are living in fear of their lives? Will he not agree that unless he is prepared to accept there is a problem, there will be no solution under this Government? I have to suggest to the Minister that he is all tongue and no teeth, he promises a lot and delivers little. He talks tough and achieves virtually nothing. Will he agree that he will not solve crime with his tongue? He must provide the resources that were committed and promised in the past. He has not done so and until that is done, we will not tackle the crime problem. If he does not do so, the next Government will provide those resources.