An overview of organised crime including the threats posed by organised crime, the Organised Crime Task Force and the strategy to address organised crime.

Organised crime

There are many definitions of organised crime. Generally, however, it involves a group of people involved in serious criminal activities for substantial profit. Violence and threat of violence can be used by organised criminals in some cases, however, the main aim is financial gain.  There are assessed to be in the region of 140 organised crime groups operating here. This crime-type is not constrained by borders.

Threats from organised crime

An Annual Report and Threat Assessment is published each year setting out an account of the work in tackling organised crime looking back and the anticipated threat areas for the year ahead.  The threats cover:

  • internet crime
  • money laundering
  • excise and tax fraud (including oils fraud)
  • intellectual property crime (including counterfeit goods)
  • armed robbery and cash in transit attacks
  • drugs
  • counterfeit currency
  • Human trafficking
  • organised immigration crime
  • environmental crime

Organised Crime Task Force

An Organised Crime Task Force was established in 2000.  It provides a multi- agency partnership approach to tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland. The Organised Crime Task Force brings together police, customs and other law enforcement agencies, along with Government Departments, the Policing Board and the local business community to combat organised crime.

More information can be found on the Organised Crime Task Force website which includes the Annual Report and Threat Assessment and the OCTF Strategy.


The Strategy sets the agenda for the partners under the headings of:

Action: to make Northern Ireland a hostile environment for organised criminals.

Analysis: to understand the threats and emerging organised crime trends to predict actions required and facilitate proactive response.

Awareness: to inform the public about organised crime trends and impacts and the work of the Organised Crime Task Force.



Related to Organised crime

Access to information

How to request information from the Department of Justice including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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