Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has launched a new crime reduction initiative aimed at repeat offenders.

The Joint Agency Response to Crime will bring gardaí, the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service together to target repeat offenders in Dublin with diversion programmes to stop them reoffending.

Two programmes will target prolific burglars, a third will target violent criminals and a fourth will be for general offenders.

The minister said serious and serial offenders will still go to prison but the programmes will be there when they get out on temporary release of after sentences are completed.

She said the programmes will operate based on existing resources.

According to the Government, repeat offenders are responsible for most crime, with 25% of offenders responsible for 75% of property crime, while in Britain 10% commit 60% of offences.

The strategy will prioritise certain prolific offenders and develop specific initiatives to reduce their re-offending

JARC aims to emulate the success of similar projects in the UK where over 100 projects now operate in England and Wales.

Speaking at the announcement, Ms Fitzgerald said: "It makes sense that by targeting identified prolific offenders with cross cutting initiatives like this one, that address their criminal behaviour and the harm it does, crime will be reduced and public safety increased.

"These people require a specific programme in the community if they are to make better choices. I totally endorse this co-ordinated and multi-agency approach."