As the House will appreciate, the deployment of Garda resources and the investigative methods used in murder cases are matters for the Garda Commissioner. I have been informed by the commissioner that a number of national support units have been established, working under an assistant commissioner. These units include the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation which investigates all forms of serious crime including murder and organised crime. While responsibility for the investigation of crime rests with local garda officers, the bureau provides assistance to serious investigations through a range of expertise and skills available within it. Staff assist in preliminary inquiries, case management, incident room management, general investigation, file preparation and other ancillary aspects of criminal investigation. Specialist investigation teams within the bureau carry out these tasks when requested by local gardaí or on the direction of senior Garda management. The system is designed to meet modern policing requirements in an efficient and professional manner, both at home and internationally. Personnel and expertise from former units have been incorporated into the national support units.
All killings, regardless of the circumstances involved, are the subject of rigorous Garda investigations. The identification of a motive, such as an association with organised crime, and the evidence available in its support are key elements of the investigation and prosecution processes. Organised crime is undoubtedly one factor in the murder rate. The Garda Commissioner has informed me that the necessary resources have been directed towards such areas of criminal activity and that a continued proactive and integrated approach is taken by the Garda to the investigation of cases where the involvement of organised criminals is suspected. I have been assured that no effort will be spared to solve such crimes and bring to justice those involved.
Almost all murders recorded to date this year have been detected and such a high detection rate indicates that the strategy being pursued by the Garda, which I have outlined, is effective.