106. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will report on the Garda Síochána operation Obair; the number of persons arrested and charged under this operation, to date; the number of successful convictions, to date; and if this operation is still active. [18001/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Obair was launched in each Division in the Eastern Garda Region in April 2012. The primary objective of Operation Obair is to disrupt and prevent mobile and organised criminal groups from committing criminal offences, to apprehend suspects in the commission or the attempted commission of offences and to fully investigate, detect and, where possible, prosecute any offences outstanding against these suspects.
I am further informed that Operation Obair is one of a number of specific burglary related operations which have been implemented in each Garda Region, in support of Operation Fiacla, to target suspect offenders, disrupt their activities and secure their attendance before the courts. The Operation provides both a preventative and detection element, and focuses on geographical areas and specific targets. Targeted offences include; burglary, aggravated burglary, robbery, possession of house breaking implements, possession of stolen property and trespassing.
I am advised that, as of 30 April 2015, Operation Fiacla has led to the arrest of 13,027 persons with charges being brought against 7,394 persons nationally. I am further advised that An Garda Síochána is not in a position to provide the specific information requested by the Deputy in relation to Operation Obair as this would require a disproportionate amount of Garda time and resources to collate.
As the Deputy will be aware, I have also been carrying out a broad review of the criminal justice system’s response to the problem of burglaries. This includes a focus on interagency measures in relation to the management of prolific offenders, visible policing, crime prevention support for communities, and an examination of legislative issues. In this regard I recently published the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill which was approved by Government. This legislation targets repeat burglary offenders through bail measures and provisions concerning the imposition of consecutive sentencing for repeat burglary offending.