Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Eamon Walsh

Question:

104 Mr. E. Walsh asked the Minister for Justice if she will bring forward urgent legislation to define an attack with a syringe as a serious offence resulting in a lengthy prison sentence, in view of the recent attack on a Dublin taxi driver; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3985/97]

I accept that there is a serious problem arising from the increasing use of syringes to threaten, injure or intimidate people. While there are many provisions in the existing law which can be used to counter this activity, I accept that there is now a need for new and explicit provisions, aimed specifically at this form of criminal conduct. As I announced on 20 January 1997, I hope to publish shortly a Bill to amend the law relating to nonfatal offences against the person. That Bill will contain new provisions aimed at people who use syringes to injure or threaten others.