As concern about the increase in organised crime activity in Northern Ireland grows, the Committee will be exploring the scope of the problem and the capacity of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to deal with it.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has publicly estimated that approximately 100 Organised Crime Gangs are currently active in Northern Ireland, with about 10-15% of these having foreign dimensions. Criminal gangs active in Northern Ireland are known to be involved in a wide range of illicit activities in the pursuit of monetary gain, including issues such as drug crime; cyber crime; armed robbery; money laundering; and human trafficking. Despite the breadth of the issue, a former senior official from the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch raised concerns that the police service no longer has the resources to tackle the rise in organised criminal activity.
Purpose of the session
In this session, the Committee will be questioning the Chief Constable of the Northern Ireland Police Service about how and why Organised Crime Gangs have been allowed to operate productively in Northern Ireland for so long, and the role technology, such as the dark web, may play in their success. Furthermore, the Committee will investigate how this form of criminality crosses borders, and the sufficiency of information sharing between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Committee will also be considering whether the Police Service is equipped to deal with rises in Organised Crime, and what action needs to be taken to ensure future preparedness in terms of resources, Government support and technology.
Wednesday 16 October, Committee Room TBC
- Simon Byrne, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
- Barbara Gray, Assistant Chief Constable, PSNI