Report on UK-Irish co-operation in tackling crime

18 June 2009

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee today publishes its report on cross-border co-operation between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

The Committee concludes that:

  • co-operation between the two countries on policing and justice matters has never been closer
  • co-operation in the fight against organised crime must continue to strengthen as and when policing and justice are devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly
  • the Police Service of Northern Ireland must continue to be fully funded to meet the continuing threat of dissident terrorist violence
  • sentencing guidelines for serious organised crimes should be reviewed to address perceptions that organised criminals are not receiving strong enough punishment
  • the range of offences which can be tried either side of the UK-Republic of Ireland border should be extended to include, where possible, human trafficking, sex offences, money laundering and some fraud
  • the UK and Irish Governments should consider creating an effective register of sex offenders across the island of Ireland.

The Committee’s Chairman, Sir Patrick Cormack, said:

"We were greatly encouraged by the level of co-operation and the clearly genuine desire to improve it displayed in all our meetings on both sides of the border. However, it is crucially important that we build on this co-operation and do not take it for granted."

Image: PA/Paul Faith

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