On the basis that the Deputy has a serious interest in these issues, I hope shortly to receive the forum report from the Garda which is anxious to ensure it is comprehensive. I anticipated originally that I might have received it by this date. As soon as I receive it, I will consider its contents. I expect it will also be made available to Members.
On the cash for gold issue, the Deputy knows the reason his Bill could not be accepted. While I am sure it was a well intended measure, it failed to take cognisance of other relevant legislation and did not address the issue in the appropriate manner. It would have given rise to a range of unnecessary side-effects, including unnecessary expense.
I kept faith with the Deputies. I told the House that we would publish a detailed report on the issue. The report clearly raises a number of matters. The Garda Commissioner has confirmed that all of the cash for gold outlets have been visited by the Garda Síochána. In his view, there is no direct relationship between the opening of these outlets and any increase in burglaries. Between 1999 and 2011, there has been a 2% increase in burglaries. While one cannot ever condone the offence of burglary, given the context of the current economic climate, this is not a dramatic increase in burglaries. There is no evidence to indicate a connectivity with cash for gold outlets.
Another difficulty with the Deputy's report is that he would have provided for legislation which did not address the blindingly obvious, which was that the cash for gold industry is partly web based. People see advertisements on the Internet and they send goods through the post. This does not involve people entering retail outlets. The report ignored entirely the reality that for decades, jewellery shops and antique shops have traded in second hand jewellery. The Deputy's legislation did not address that issue. As a result of the very detailed submission furnished to the joint Oireachtas committee, I hope that that committee, in conjunction with the enterprise committee which has some remit in this area, will consider that report and make proportionate and appropriate recommendations.
Where there is lawful business being conducted, it is important that we do not introduce some extra layer of bureaucracy which results in legitimate businesses incurring unnecessary expense to no benefit to the general public, or to the investigative capacity of the Garda Síochána.