27 Jan 2022

Cash seized by state agencies should be put into youth crime prevention, says Longford Senator

Longford's Senator Micheál Carrigy has added his voice to calls for money seized by state agencies to be put into youth crime prevention.

“I full support my colleagues Deputy Richmond and Councillor Kenneth Egan who want money seized directed at preventing youths from turning to crime," said Senator Carrigy.

"The illegal and vast proceeds of criminal enterprises are about to come under the spotlight of the Dáil with Deputy Richmond’s proposal that the cash be redistributed to prevent teens and children becoming involved in crime."

Deputy Neale Richmond has submitted a Private Members Motion to the Oireachtas that would see the Government legislate to ring-fence funds seized by state agencies and channel these funds back into targeting the causes of crime at source.

If given the green light by the country’s politicians, the bold move could prove to be a severe dent to some of the country’s major criminal gangs who regularly target and recruit minors to carry out their nefarious acts.

“Cash seized by the Gardai is on the rise, from €7.44 million in 2019 to over €16 million in 2020. In 2021 over €2 million was seized in the first month alone," said Senator Carrigy.

"We all remember in July 2020 when CAB came to Longford and seized €125K in cash, 14 vehicles and designer items in Longford raid. A total of 16 searches were carried out on that day, 12 of residential properties and three of commercial properties and one professional premises and bank accounts containing over €80,000 were also frozen as part of the investigation.

"Imagine what could be done if this seized cash was ringfenced and channelled into community-focused programmes to address the societal causes of crime instead of returning to the exchequer for general spending as is current Government policy. It would be brilliant to see this crime cash used for addiction counsellors, social workers, youth diversion programmes, training courses, education schemes, awareness programmes in Longford.

“As my colleague Deputy Richmond has said this approach is already working in countries like France and New Zealand; it can work here too. By ring-fencing seized cash we are not only reaffirming our commitment to supporting communities and families who have been devastated by crime, but also protecting generations to come from turning to crime in the first instance.

"This is an opportunity to take the proceeds of crime and put this cash to work to prevent future crimes from taking place," Senator Carrigy concluded.

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