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The Social Problem of Crime in Ireland Essay Sample 

This essay sample will discuss the major high rated crimes in Ireland and various legislations regulating such crimes.

Ireland ranks low in the crime rate at a global level and is considered to be one of the safest nations in the world. But Ireland too has it’s own social issues and crimes that is a major concern for the Irish courts and government.

The crimes in Ireland have a major effect on the Irish society which is being regulated by the Irish legislation. In the year 2019, Ireland has the 11th lowest homicide rate in Europe and 23rd lowest rate globally.

Ireland has the highest rate of drug and substance abuse cases in Europe which amounts to 63.55% making it a high rate of crime. Property-related crimes of vandalism, theft is also rising which amounts to almost 53.16% making it a moderate crime.

Violent crimes related to robbery and assault is almost 42.29% which is also a moderate crime. Other crimes of homicide, murder, corruption, bribery, rapes, etc are also a growing concern for the administrators of the government.

Though any form of violent crime in Ireland is very rare and in fact does not even exist in most of the areas. Garda Siochana has been focusing upon the criminal groups and gangs who are involved in drug dealing and drug-related crimes.

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Major social crimes in Ireland and it’s legislation

We will discuss few of the major social crimes in Ireland and Irish legislations regulating them.

Drug abuse and illegal possession: Drug and substance abuse along with its illegal possession and dealing has been a major concern around the globe. It is being considered as the most serious offense in Ireland and has been rising since 2002, where young males are seen to be its the highest consumer.

Drug abuse not only causes health-related major issues but also further rises the crime rate and criminal activities in society. It spreads diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, drug overdoses and drug-related deaths. It rises rape, murders, property-related crimes as it causes serious psychotic issues.

The Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977 and Misuse of Drugs, 1984 are the main pieces of legislation regulating the drug-related crimes and offenses in Ireland.

It basically controls the supply, possession, administration, record keeping, cultivation, licensing, custody of substances, purchase, etc.

Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977 states that any possession of controlled drugs is a criminal act or offense in Ireland. It also states the actual distinction between the sale and possession of drugs according to Irish law.

Any possession of controlled drugs or substances by a person can impose upon him a penalty of fine or imprisonment of one year on summary conviction and seven years imprisonment for conviction on indictment.

Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act, 2010 covers all those drug substances which are not banned specifically under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It covers the drugs which mostly have effects on the mind and is psychoactive.

Role of Garda Siochana (Irish Police) in dealing with social issues of drug abuse and supply

Garda Siochana has a number of units to deal with and combat drug abuse and trafficking at a local and international level.

Some of the roles played by Garda Siochana units to regulate and prevent drug abuse in Irish society are:-

  • The criminal Assets Bureau seizes the personal property and assets of the people who are convicted of drug trafficking.
  • Local drugs unit are present in the local areas for dealing with the drug problems in local groups at the local level.
  • The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau is responsible for drug-related crime regulation at the local and international levels.
  • One can report information related to drug criminal activities in their locality to Garda through Dial to stop drug dealing.
  • Garda juvenile liaison officers have to work with young people to prevent them from getting involved in drugs and substance abuse.
  • Social awareness programs like Garda Social Programme can be conducted in order to make young adults and children aware of drug-related offenses and their effect on health.

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Murder and involuntary manslaughter 

Murder has become another major concern in Ireland. A murder occurs when a person intends to kill or causes any injury to another person that causes death.

The People (DPP) v. John Cullen (1982) concluded that the accused was convicted of murder as he had thrown a firebomb outside his window which burned and killed three women.

Manslaughter is unlawful killing but not murder and can be an act of voluntary or involuntary. A voluntary act of manslaughter is done in a fit of rage out of provocation. The involuntary act is a dangerous act of killing which is unlawful but is done with no intention of doing so. It causes bodily harm or injury that may result in death.

Such death can also be caused due to a person’s gross negligence or omission of an act causing substantial injury to cause death.

People (DPP) v. Wayne O’ Donoghue was a case law that stated that an assault was done that caused the death.

In the case of People (DPP) v. Cullagh (1988), a woman died while taking a ride at the funfair of the accused. The chair got detached from the ride and as a result, she fell down and died. Though, the accused was not aware that the chair was rusted and it was his gross negligence that caused her death.

Such crimes are covered and regulated under the Criminal Justice Act, 1964, Criminal Law Act, 1997, and Criminal Procedure Act, 2010.

Robbery, aggravated burglary, and theft

The Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences Act, 2001) of Ireland, section 14(1) states that a person is guilty of robbery only when he seeks to use any force on another person or put him into the fear that such force may be applied on him.

Such a person guilty of robbery is liable on conviction on indictment to the imprisonment of life.

Section 13 of this Act defines the aggravated burglary which is a violent crime. It involves damage, weapon, violence, and threat of vandalizing to an occupant at home. Such a person is targeted as they are vulnerable and who have suffered harm or trauma.

Such a person guilty of aggravated burglary to be given a term of four to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Larceny Act, 1916 is meant for theft property crimes. Every person who with menace or by force demands from another person anything that is capable of being stolen or with an intention to steal.

He shall serve a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years.

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The above-written sample mentions the major crimes in Ireland and their related legislation imposing punishment.

Law, Sociology, Legal Practice and Procedures Course QQI Level 5, Criminal Law QQI Level 5, QQI Employment Law Level 6, Legal Studies Fetac Level 5, Certificate in Legal Studies QQI Level 5 students can specifically read this sample to gain knowledge on criminal law in Ireland.

We have many law assignments based on legal Acts, policies, civil and criminal laws in Ireland, the social problems in Ireland, Social stratification, and inequality which can also be referred by the students.

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