Justice | Extent to which organized crime is expanding
To ask the Minister for Justice the extent to which organised crime is expanding in the context of the number of criminal gangs; the degree to which they remain active or otherwise; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
I can assure the Deputy that tackling organised crime activity is a key ongoing priority for both the Government and An Garda Síochána.
An Garda Síochána tackles organised criminal activity through a range of targeted measures designed to disrupt and dismantle the operations of criminal organisations. To the greatest extent possible, these measures include the use of advanced analytical and intelligence methodologies.
The additional resources allocated to AGS in recent years have enabled the Garda Commissioner to assign extra resources to the specialist units involved in tackling organised crime, including the Armed Support Unit, Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
An Garda Síochána uses multi-disciplinary approaches to ensure the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminal enterprise are effectively targeted. Such approaches also include the use of money-laundering legislation and the powers available to CAB under the proceeds of crime legislation. Other measures taken to tackle organised crime include the strengthening of legislation where required, the establishment of a second Special Criminal Court in 2016, and the establishment of Garda Armed Response Units in all Garda regions which are available to support all divisions countrywide.
I wish to acknowledge the work of the Gardaí in harnessing an international coalition of support to tackle the criminality associated with the Kinahan Organised Crime Group. The enforcement of sanctions demonstrates the tremendous value and power of international co-operation in tackling organised crime and the actions taken recently send a very clear message to those involved in the gang, or associated with the gang, that criminality will not go unnoticed or unpunished.
While we should not underestimate the difficulties which the Garda authorities face in tackling organised crime activity, we continue to see the significant results of their efforts in the arrests made and persons being brought before the Courts, as well as the ongoing drugs and firearms seizures made.
Given the fluid nature of such criminal groupings it is extremely difficult to quantify the number of criminal gangs operating at a particular time. Splinter groups and new gangs can form overnight. Organised Crime is constantly evolving and new innovations in crime are continuously emerging.
However, criminal legislation has been updated in recent years, with a view to ensuring that it provides a comprehensive range of provisions for the prosecution and punishment of crime, in particular the activities of those involved in organised crime.
Leave a Reply