Conferences

  • Conferences

    Our Conference for 2013 Will take place in Enniscorthy on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th October. Full details to follow.

     

    "Victims of Crime - the Cost to the Community"

    Conference October 2011

    Manor West Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry

    THE “RESILIENCE” of the victim needed to be recognised as a key to overcoming the trauma of crime, and victims should not be pressurised into feeling they needed to forgive, a leading Dutch criminologist told a conference in Tralee at the weekend.

    The conference also heard how attitudes towards business crime needed to be “radically reassessed” – rising number of break-ins in the recession had devastating effects on small shops and offices and local areas.

    Dr Jan Van Dijk, a professor and a former president of the world society of victimology told the Federation for Victim Assistance annual conference, that resilience, or “the bounce-back factor”, was for too long overlooked. “In the old days we were far too involved in looking after trauma. We should help to empower people.”

    People had a natural resilience and allied with this “post-traumatic altruism”, which may be cultural, victims wanted to reach out to help other victims, Dr Van Dijk said. This aspect had not been harnessed enough.

    He also said forgiveness was “wonderful”, but it should not be obligatory. Victims of crime often felt pressurised into needing to forgive, but they also needed to be allowed to express their anger, and their feelings about what had been done.

    “Forgiveness is an ideal. But it can put a burden on the victim. It’s wonderful if you can do it, but it should not be an obligation,” he said. He also warned against support organisations becoming overly professional and too bureaucratic – the role of the community and the volunteer in supporting victims was vital, he said.

    Outlining the results of a survey by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme), which has 8,500 members, conducted in July, its chief executive Mark Fielding said the recession was leading to an increase in crime against businesses.

    The overall cost of crime now was €1.48 billion, up from €1.43 billion the previous year.

    Most respondents had experienced an increase in break-ins and theft over the last 12 months, with the retail sector suffering most. Theft from staff was also up and crime was now costing the average business €7,500. Up to €4,000 was being spent on security. A small business would have to turn over €100,000 to make up the cost of burglaries and disruption and this cost was being passed on to the consumer.

    Just over one-third (38 per cent) of small and medium businesses had insurance, the survey found. “This idea that crime against business is a victimless crime does not stand up. It has a devastating impact on businesses and on areas also,” Mr Fielding said.

    At the moment statistics on burglary of private houses and shops were all lumped in together. Isme was calling for Garda figures on business crime to be recorded separately.

    “A business is twice as likely to be a victim of crime as a private house,” he said.

    A radical reassessment of crime against business was needed, he added. There was a perception in the business sector that judges handed down lighter sentences for crime against businesses and the survey found the overwhelming majority – some 88 per cent – of small businesses felt courts were “ineffective” in dealing with crime against business.

    Victims also spoke. Éamon Horan (75), a retired sports writer with the Kerryman newspaper, spoke of an unprovoked attack on him in July when he was jumped upon from behind, brought to the ground and pummelled by three youths. The attack left him with a broken jaw and nose.

    Maireád Fernane, national chairwoman of the Federation for Victim Assistance, urged victims of crime who hadn’t sought help to contact the organisation.

     

     

    "Victims of Crime - Making the System Work"

    Conference October 2009

    Green Isle Hotel, Dublin

     

    THE TRAUMA OF CRIME VICTIMS, SO OFTEN THE FORGOTTEN ENTITY WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, WILL BE ANALYSED AT A DAY-LONG CONFERENCE IN DUBLIN NEXT MONTH WHEN A PANEL OF EXPERTS WILL DEBATE AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE NEEDS OF VICTIMS.

     

    ENTITLED “VICTIMS OF CRIME – MAKING THE SYSTEM WORK” THE CONFERENCE IS BEING ORGANISED BY THE FEDERATION FOR VICTIM ASSISTANCE AND WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE GREEN ISLE HOTEL, NAAS ROAD, DUBLIN, ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH, COMMENCING AT 9.30 A.M.

     

    MR. PAT COX, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WILL OFFICIALLY OPEN THE CONFERENCE WHICH WILL BE ATTENDED BY REPRESENTATIVE BODIES AND ORGANISATIONS WHO’S WORK BRINGS THEM INTO CONTACT WITH VICTIMS OF CRIME.              

     

    STATISTICS SHOW THAT ONE IN TEN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF CRIME IN IRELAND IN THE PAST YEAR AND THAT FIGURE IS RISING ALARMINGLY, PARTICULARLY IN THE LARGER CENTRES OF POPULATION.

     

    THE CONFERENCE WILL EXAMINE IN DETAIL THE TRAUMA EXPERIENCED BY THESE VICTIMS, THE LACK OF SUPPORT MEASURES FOR THEM AND WHAT COURSE OF ACTION IS REQUIRED TO BE PUT IN PLACE TO ASSIST SUCH VICTIMS.

     

    PROFESSOR MARC GROENHUIJSEN, HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW AT TILBURG UNIVERSITY, HOLLAND, WILL ADDRESS THE SUBJECT OF VICTIMS RIGHTS IN EUROPE. HE WILL EXAMINE THE PRACTICAL ISSUES, INTERPRETATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF EUROPEAN POLICIES AS THEY APPLY TO VICTIMS OF CRIME. A FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE EUROPEAN FORUM FOR VICTIMS SERVICES, PROFESSOR GROENHUIJSEN IS EUROPES LEADING EXPERT ON VICTIMOLOGY AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.

     

    “THE USE OF THE VICTIM IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENDA” WILL BE DISCUSSED BY DR. CAROL COULTER, THE WELL KNOWN AUTHOR OF A NUMBER OF BOOKS AND ACADEMIC ARTICLES ON SOCIAL AND CULTURAL MATTERS. DR. COULTER IS LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR WITH THE IRISH TIMES AND BETWEEN OCTOBER 2006 AND OCTOBER 2007 RAN A PILOT PROJECT ON FAMILY LAW.HER NEW BOOK ON THE SUBJECT WILL BE PUBLISHED SHORTLY.

     

    ASSISTANT GARDA COMMISSIONER LOUIS HARKIN WILL CHAIR THE AFTERNOON SESSION. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SECTION OF AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA AND HE IS ACUTELY AWARE OF THE TRAUMA SUFFERED BY VICTIMS IN THE AFTERMATH OF A CRIME. ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HARKIN IS A BARRISTER AT LAW AND HOLDS A B.A. IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION.

     

    THE MEDIA VIEWPOINT OF VICTIMS WILL BE EXPLORED BY MR. GERARD COLLERAN, EDITOR OF THE STAR NEWSPAPER AND WELL KNOWN CONTRIBUTOR TO MANY CURRENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS PROGRAMMES. THIS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY DR. MICHAEL CORRY, CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST AT THE INSTITUTE OF PSYCHOSOCIAL MEDICINE, WHO WILL ADDRESS THE ISSUE “HEALING THE IMPACT OF CRIME”. DR. CORRY IS A U.C.D. GRADUATE AND COMPLETED A MASTERS DEGREE IN PSYCHOTHERAPY.

     

    THE DAY LONG CONFERENCE WILL ALSO HEAR FROM A NUMBER OF PEOPLE AS THEY SHARE THE REALITY OF BECOMING A VICTIM OF CRIME

     

     

    THE CONFERENCE WILL CONCLUDE WITH A PANEL DISCUSSION FOLLOWED BY A QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION, BEFORE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATION FOR VICTIM ASISTANCE, MR. DEREK NALLY DELIVERS HIS CLOSING REMARKS.

     

    THIS IS THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF ITS TYPE TO BE HELD IN IRELAND AND IS DESIGNED TO PROMOTE VICTIMS RIGHTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF A CRIME. THE ORGANISATION HOSTING THE CONFERENCE, THE FEDERATION FOR VICTIM ASSISTANCE, WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2005 TO OFFER EMOTIONAL AND PRACTICAL ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF CRIME.