STATEMENT: Costello welcomes new laws to protect young people from coercion into crime.

Green Party TD and Justice spokesperson Patrick Costello today has welcomed the publication of the Criminal Justice (Engagement of Children in Criminal Activity) Bill 2022. The bill will criminalise coercion of young people into crime by adults.

He began, “As a former social worker I have seen first hand the challenges faced by our young people in disadvantaged communities. Many of them witness anti-social behaviour on a regular basis and face coercion into crime by local gangs.”

“During the Programme for Government negotiations the Green Party made this a priority area of action. Today’s legislation will for the first time criminalise adults who groom children to commits. This is long overdue but is a welcome step”

He continued, “The Oireachtas Justice Committee carried out the pre-legislative scrutiny of the bill and engaged with the office of the attorney general on a number of points. In tandem with this legislation, we have also seen a huge increase in Garda Youth Diversion project funding. This dual track approach will, I believe, lead to a safer future for our communities and young people.”