103. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the growth in organised crime has been measured on an ongoing basis over the past ten years....[13948/12].
(13 Mar 2012)
103. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the growth in organised crime has been measured on an ongoing basis over the past ten years with particular reference to gangland killings, drugs-related territorial wars culminating in shootings and killings of and by persons known to the Garda; the extent to which current legislation is capable of combatting such crime notwithstanding the legislation already passed into law in this regard and mindful of the apparent ready access to firearms and the growing expectation that such trends are likely to continue with increasing frequency; if he has in mind any specific measures to detain such persons or otherwise to prevent this ongoing activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13948/12]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Deputy will appreciate that organised crime, by its nature, is constantly evolving and diversifying in both its structures and activities. In addition, membership of organised crime gangs tends to be fluid and offences committed by members of criminal gangs may or may not be connected with an individual’s membership of such gangs.
I am, of course, deeply concerned about the incidence of murders associated with organised crime activity and I deplore all such killings. All killings, regardless of the circumstances involved, are the subject of rigorous investigation by An Garda Síochána and will continue to be so. I can also assure the Deputy that all serious and organised crime activity is monitored on an ongoing basis by An Garda Síochána. An Garda Síochána undertakes a range of activities designed to disrupt and dismantle the operations of criminal organisations. This involves targeting serious criminals and organised criminal groups on a number of fronts, including through the use of focused intelligence led operations by specialist units such as the Organised Crime Unit, the Criminal Assets Bureau, the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
In addition, An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement strategies targeting criminal networks, utilising advanced analytical and intelligence methods to facilitate targeted operations to enable early intervention and prevention of organised crime. This approach by An Garda Síochána has succeeded in bringing to justice many of those involved in gangland activities.
Law enforcement efforts in this regard are underpinned by a comprehensive framework of criminal law measures. This framework includes the more recently enacted provisions of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 targeting organised crime, measures contained in the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 relating to evidence obtained by means of covert surveillance and the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 relating to the use of weapons.
While this legislative framework is being actively utilised to tackle organised crime, I have indicated to the House that I will keep under review the question of whether any further improvements could be made to the overall legislative framework in this area to render it more effective. Further to this, my Department is currently undertaking a specific review of the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 to see if its provisions can be strengthened.
Private Members’ Business – Organised Crime
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Vol. 758 No. 4
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