Witness Security Up Since Murder of Veronica Guerin

May 22nd, 2009 - 2:10 am ICT by GD  

The death of Veronica Guerin, the Irish crime reporter who was murdered in 1996 by drug dealers set off two important landmarks, one was the initiative taken to beef up witness security spending so that witnesses in a crime are not threatened or harmed by potential criminals and the other was the establishment of the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Veronica Guerin was a crime reporter whose death inspired a movie with her name in the title. She was more feared than the police because in her work she was relentless and did story after story on the drug lords ruling Dublin at that time. Multiple attempts were made to take her life, but she survived each attempt to become something of a celebrity worth admiring by her people and her readers. Then in 1996 she was brutally murdered and that led to an amendment of Irish laws as well as the arrest of the country’s top criminals. The movie, starring Cate Blanchett in the title role, takes viewers through the life and death of Guerin and remains true to facts without overtly sentimentalizing or even sensitizing the whole issue.

According to reports, Guerin was in her red Opel Calibra when two men on a motorcycle shot at her six times at a traffic light. Neither the gun nor the perpetrators of the crime were ever seen after the incident and it was stated that the murder was an “attack on democracy.” It was then that initiatives to spend more to ensure higher security for victims were taken up and this year, 1.1m was spent in beefing up witness protection.

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