Dáil Éireann - Volume 450 - 14 March, 1995

Written Answers. - Powers of Arrest.

15. Mr. Kenneally asked the Minister for Justice whether she will introduce legislation with a view to categorising [1174] offences as arrestable and non-arrestable offences; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5383/95]

Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): There have been proposals over many years to put on a statutory basis the Garda Síochána's general power of arrest without warrant. This would be in place of the existing common law power of arrest without warrant which applies only to felonies and not to misdemeanours, no matter how serious they might be. I believe that a statutory power of arrest without warrant for serious offences would be a positive and worthwhile development in the criminal law.

I know that there exists a long-standing draft of a Bill to put in place the concept of the arrestable offence and I am now examining this, in consultation with the Attorney General, with a view to bringing proposals to Government for legislative change as soon as possible.