RGDATA is urging Government to apply zero tolerance and longer jail sentences for shoplifting after plans to extend jail sentences for recidivist burglars were announced.
RGDATA wrote to the Minister for Justice & Equality seeking an extension of the new longer jail sentences for those convicted of theft in commercial premises as well as private dwellings. The Minister has responded saying that because of the constitutional protection of personal liberty and the importance of a person’s dwelling which is given special recognition in Article 40.5 of the Constitution, it is not possible to extend the special constitutional protection to commercial premises.
Minister Fitzgerald said that the Government does recognize the problem of theft from shops and businesses and fully supports the work of An Garda Siochana to engage with retailers and other experts on this issue.
RGDATA attended the National Strategic Retail Theft Forum on 7 May and raised independent retailers’ concerns about the growing impact of serial shoplifting and drive offs on their businesses.
Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA said: “RGDATA members are reporting increasing incidents of shoplifting, retail theft and drive offs. Independent retailers identify this issue as one of the key concerns impacting on the future viability of their businesses. This is a major issue that needs to be dealt with and serial offenders should face the same penalties as those who rob private dwellings. Dealing with constant shoplifting is causing huge stress for independent retailers and putting their shops and the jobs they provide at risk. Government needs to recognize this and address the issue as a matter of urgency.”
For further information:
Kathleen Cahill, Communications Manager,
Direct Line: 01-2887584