Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which adequate resources continue to be made available to An Garda Síochána to combat the activity of organised criminal gangs; the success of operations to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35723/15]
214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which adequate resources remain available to An Garda Síochána to combat the activity of armed criminal gangs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35734/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 214 together.
The Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel among the Garda Regions, Divisions, and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of resources.
The An Garda Síochána Policing Plan for 2015 sets out the continued commitment of An Garda Síochána to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in serious crime in all its forms, in particular violent crime and organised criminal activity. An Garda Síochána target organised criminal groupings with all available resources. This includes operating at local and community level as well as national and international level in partnership with other policing agencies. The resources available to target the activities of Organised Criminal Groups include direct resources allocated to the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau itself as well as indirect resources which include the services of specialist units as well as Divisional and District Drugs and Detective Units.
An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement operations and strategies aimed at targeting, dismantling and disrupting criminal networks, utilising advanced analytical and intelligence methodologies. Multi-Disciplinary approaches are utilised to ensure the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminal enterprise are effectively targeted, including the use of the Proceeds of Crimes Legislation, including money-laundering legislation and the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau. Members of An Garda Síochána also continue to utilise the additional legislative provisions introduced by the Oireachtas in 2009 which amended the Criminal Justice Act, 2006 relating to organised crime.
I am advised by the Garda Authorities that Organised Crime is constantly evolving and new innovations in crime are continuously emerging. An Garda Síochána proactively participate in international seminars that assist in identifying emerging crime trends. An Garda Síochána participate in training through CEPOL, Interpol, Europol and actively encourage international police cooperation in the fight against organised crime. I am informed that An Garda Síochána are currently conducting a number of ongoing operations in cooperation with Revenue Customs, other International Law Enforcement units and are actively assisted by Europol and Interpol.
An Garda Síochána is satisfied that in addition to the considerable volume of drugs seized in recent years, it has also made a significant impact by arresting and prosecuting a number of important gang members involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activity. They have also disrupted and dismantled a number of Organised Criminal Groups which operate drug trafficking into Ireland. These successes by law enforcement agencies led by An Garda Síochána have been acknowledged by our international partners and Ireland has shown that it is ready, willing and able to play its part in international drug enforcement and combating organised crime.