Long: Strategy aims to tackle scourge of organised crime

Date published: 19 March 2021

The Northern Ireland Organised Crime Strategy 2021–2024 has been published today.

Justice Minister Naomi Long said: “Organised crime causes harm, misery and fear within our communities and tackling it is one of my key priorities.  This three year Strategy sets out a refreshed vision for Northern Ireland, with the overarching aim of protecting individuals, communities and businesses in Northern Ireland from organised crime.”

The strategy has been developed to consolidate and enhance the response to existing organised crime threats, as well as identifying and responding effectively to emerging crime types.

The strategy has four key themes:

  • PURSUE offenders through investigation, disruption and prosecution;
  • PREPARE AND PROTECT individuals, communities, systems and businesses to mitigate vulnerability and impact;
  • PREVENT deter and divert people from engaging and re-engaging in organised crime; and
  • PARTNERSHIP - To create a sustainable, efficient, effective and collaborative system response.

This Strategy has been developed by the Department of Justice following significant engagement with partners across Government and law enforcement, and in particular, by close engagement with partner organisations represented on the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF).

The Minister said: “The strategy has also been informed and influenced by responses received during the consultation on the draft Strategy and I want to thank all those who have contributed to its development. I also want to acknowledge the work of all our Organised Crime Taskforce partners, who have the primary role in disrupting and dismantling organised crime groups.”

The Strategy sets out a common vision for the OCTF partners who have different roles, operational responsibilities, priorities and accountability structures. While the document is important for government and for agencies it is also a demonstration to the community of a joint commitment to tackle the issues. It focuses on strategic objectives in priority areas and it will be revised and updated as necessary. A report on achievement against the Strategy will be included in the OCTF Annual Report and Threat Assessment.

The Strategy is available on the Department of Justice website at:  https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/organised-crime-strategy

Notes to editors: 

1. The OCTF was established in 2000 and works to reduce the harm caused by organised crime, through multi agency partnership and to secure a safe community in Northern Ireland, where we respect the law and each other.

2. OCTF provides an essential strategic leadership forum for tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland.

3. Members and key partners of OCTF include: Department of Justice, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Public Prosecution Service, Immigration Enforcement, Border Force, National Crime Agency, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, An Garda Síochána, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit, NI Environment Agency and Trading Standards.

4. Information about the membership and work of the OCTF is available in the OCTF Annual Report on the OCTF website

5. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email at: press.office@justice-ni.gov.uk

6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.

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