Just one in 12 burglaries led to conviction, says TD


THE IMPACT of burglaries on victims must not be underestimated, Labour TD Michael Conaghan said.

Most occurred in private family homes, and for many people it was the only form of crime they would encounter. It was also intrusive and invasive.

“It can be most distressing and disturbing for the families involved. Often, and most of my Dáil colleagues will have experienced this, it changes people’s perception of their own home.”

He said that of the 25,377 burglaries recorded in 2010, only one in four was detected by the Garda. Furthermore only 2,000 – one in 12 – led to a conviction.

Mr Conaghan said the Dublin metropolitan region accounted for more than 40 per cent of all burglaries. One area in his Dublin South Central constituency had the highest per capita figures, with 1,261 per 100,000 people.

Mr Conaghan said fear of being caught was the only real antidote to the problem, but there was no real deterrent because of the low detection and conviction rates.

Criminals and victims were now aware that adequate forensic work was not undertaken in most cases, further reducing the deterrent.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, on behalf of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, said a Garda campaign was being launched to highlight a range of key issues, particularly burglary prevention.

She added that the campaign’s primary objective was to engage with communities and raise awareness of initiatives aimed at preventing crime, reducing the fear of it and promoting community safety.

In addition, said Ms Lynch, the television programme Crimecall was broadcast once a month, with an average audience of 400,000 viewers.

Gardaí often used the programme to highlight the issue of burglary prevention, as well as particular ongoing investigations.

Ms Lynch said the Government would do everything it could to support the Garda in its work and provide resources as public finances permitted. It would also respond to any legislative needs identified.