Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (154)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

154. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the degree to which An Garda Síochána remains in contact with Europol and Interpol in the pursuit of organised crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48170/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

An Garda Síochána is making important progress in tackling organised crime and targets organised criminal groupings with all available resources. This includes cooperation at levels - local, national and international level - in partnership with relevant stakeholders and in particular other policing agencies.

I am informed that at the international level, An Garda Síochána utilises the available international mechanisms for police cooperation and training including CEPOL, Interpol, and Europol.  Garda Liaison Officers are based, on a full-time basis, in other EU Member States, including the Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal.

Garda Liaison Officers are also based at Europol. I am informed by the Garda authorities that in accordance with the Europol Act 2012 An Garda Síochána has a permanent Garda representation in Europol Headquarters, The Hague. An Garda Síochána is also represented on the Management Board of Europol and on the Heads of Europol National Units.

The Irish Liaison Bureau in The Hague together with the Europol National Unit based in Garda Headquarters ensure continuous contact between An Garda Síochána and Europol on all areas of Europol mandated competence.  In particular, I am informed that Gardaí from Special Crime Operations and the Special Detective Unit regularly interact with Europol and are involved in thematic and operational meetings.

I am further informed that two Garda members are seconded to Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France and An Garda Síochána is represented on the Interpol European Committee. An Garda Síochána engages the Interpol network on a daily basis in the investigation of organised crime both nationally and internationally.

Finally I am advised that An Garda Síochána also continues to participate in joint and multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional investigations, within the European Union and worldwide. Successful investigations, prosecutions and disruptions of criminal activities continue to be achieved in this way.