Skip to main content

Organised Crime

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

11. What plans he has to improve the effectiveness of policies to deal with organised crime in Northern Ireland. (137966)

The multi-agency Organised Crime Task Force enables Government, law enforcement agencies and business to tackle organised crime in a co-ordinated, effective and strategic way. Next month, I shall publish the latest OCTF annual report and threat assessment.

I am grateful to the Minister for that considered and rational reply, but is there not a danger that acts of terrorism, which have dominated Northern Ireland in recent decades, could well be replaced by crimes committed by organisations? That would undermine the peace and stability that have recently come to Northern Ireland.

The hon. Gentleman is right; we know of the connection between organised criminality and those who in the past may have been involved in paramilitary activity. However, I assure the hon. Gentleman that the Organised Crime Task Force brings all those agencies together to defeat those involved in organised crime. Indeed, yesterday I chaired a meeting of the Organised Crime Task Force stakeholder group, which brings business and law enforcement groups together. We will deal with organised crime, in order to eradicate it from Northern Ireland.