I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 211 together.
The statistics contained in the annual report of the Garda Síochána for the year 2001 in relation to "headline" or serious offences for the year 2001 are indeed disappointing. Although, in the period 1996 to 2000, the figures for recorded indictable crime showed a decrease of approximately 27%, the trend has, regrettably, altered in 2001 when Garda statistics indicated an overall increase of 18% over the previous year.
While these figures, especially in relation to violent assaults, are obviously a cause for concern, they also reflect the targeting of resources and the resultant increased activity on the part of the Garda in addressing this problem. This is confirmed by the detection rate of 75% in the assault category and 86% in the homicide category. I am convinced that this increase underlines the continued need for robust responses to offending behaviour and the need to readily adapt to changing levels and patterns of crime.
In addition to the current Garda powers in relation to public order, the Criminal Justice Public Order Bill, 2002, currently before the House, will give the Garda significant additional powers to assist them in dealing with drunkenness and disorderly conduct which most of us would accept are contributing to street crime and violent assaults. The purpose of the Bill is to augment the law so as to tackle the problem of drink-related late night disturbance and the growing problem of late night street violence which has its origins in or outside licensed premises and fast food outlets. It applies to pubs, off-licences, discos, nightclubs, dance venues of all types, amusement arcades, chip shops, take-aways and mobile food vehicles.