308. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the penalties in place for theft will be examined in view of the rise in the number of work and farm equipment burglaries; his plans to address the penalties which are in place for such offences and for repeat offenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9407/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that the law already treats theft and burglary very seriously. Theft carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment. For burglary, the maximum penalty is 14 years' imprisonment, and for aggravated burglary, a sentence of up to life imprisonment can be imposed. In 2015, the law in this area was further strengthened by the introduction of legislation targeting repeat offenders. The Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015 seeks to ensure that persons awaiting trial for burglary of a dwelling who have recent convictions or pending charges for domestic burglaries can be denied bail in appropriate cases. The Act also provides for consecutive sentences for prolific burglars of dwellings. In addition, the Criminal Justice Act 2007 provides for presumptive minimum sentences for certain repeat offences in certain circumstances. The offences to which these presumptive minimum sentences apply include aggravated burglary.
I will continue to keep this area of law under review.