534. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the degree to which best international policing practices are adopted throughout each European country, including this jurisdiction, with a view to maximising the capability to address the threat of organised criminal gangs; if any specific procedures applicable in other jurisdictions can be applied here in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20834/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): There are a range of mechanisms established at European level through which information in relation to Member States' approaches to tackling organised crime and the policing practices deployed are exchanged across the European Union.
Such mechanisms include European bodies such as Europol (European Police Office) and CEPOL (European Police College) and also information exchange through established law enforcement networks and other networks such as the Asset Recovery Office Network. Information exchange also takes place under the auspices of the relevant Working Groups established under the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
In addition, Ireland and its European partners are subject to a range of information sharing and evaluation mechanisms arising from obligations under European law and under UN, OECD and Council of Europe treaties.
Through these mechanisms good practices are identified and shared amongst the Member States and, where appropriate, may be adopted or may be adapted to suit the national situation.
In addition, at European level, the EU policy cycle against serious and organised international crime, which was set up in 2010, is an intelligence led methodology for better coordinating Member States actions as well as EU support measures in this area. The 2014 - 2017 EU Crime Priorities in this regard have been adopted and the necessary Operational Plans developed to take forward this work.
More generally, the Deputy will also be aware that the Garda Inspectorate Report on Crime Investigation, which forms an important component in the overall justice reform programme, includes extensive recommendations with respect to tackling crime, taking on board international best practice.
An Garda Síochána has established an Implementation Steering Group to focus on the implementation of the short, medium and long-term recommendations in the Report and I expect this programme of work will contribute significantly to how An Garda Síochána prevent and investigate crime at all levels.