Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

Organised crime gangs in Northern Ireland inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

In this inquiry, the Committee will examine the drivers behind organised crime gangs (OCGs) in Northern Ireland and the impact their illegal pursuits are having on many communities.  The inquiry begins with a call for evidence from any individual or organisation who wants to tell the Committee more about OCGs in Northern Ireland. The Committee is investigating three main areas:

  • The drivers and operation of OCGs in Northern Ireland
  • Cross-border criminality related to OCGs in Northern Ireland; and
  • Combating the operations of OCGs both in Northern Ireland and internationally.

Terms of reference

The Committee is inviting written evidence on the following questions:

Drivers and operation of OCGs in Northern Ireland

  • What motivates the formation of OCGs in Northern Ireland?
  • Who joins OCGs and why?
  • What are the main types of criminal activities which they are involved in? And where do the proceeds go?
  • How are OCGs using technology and the ‘dark net’ to assist and adapt their current activities?
  • What is the level of co-operation between difference OCGs within Northern Ireland?

Cross-border and international criminality

  • In what ways do OCGs use a) the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and b) the Common Travel Area (CTA) to facilitate and enable crime?
  • How does the CTA influence cross-border crime between Northern Ireland and i) the Republic of Ireland and ii) Great Britain?
  • What linkages exist between OCGs in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland? How well developed are such collaborations?
  • What known links exist between OCGs operating across the island of Ireland and OCGs in i) Great Britain ii) the rest of Europe and iii) the rest of the world?
  • What affect could Brexit have in shifting the nature of cross-border criminality?

Combatting the operations of OCGs both in Northern Ireland and internationally

  • How do the PSNI and Garda co-operate to combat OCGs?
  • How is tackling of OCGs in Northern Ireland funded? Are the efforts of different agencies sufficiently co-ordinated?
  • How is data shared between authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and used to identify the illicit activities of OCGs? What barriers exist to sharing data across these jurisdictions in the detection and prosecution of criminals?
  • How may Brexit affect the co-operation of the PSNI and Garda in disrupting the activities of OCGs? How can the UK prepare for this in the context of the different scenarios which might occur?

 

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