The Policing Plan of An Garda Síochána for the year 2012 sets out the continued commitment of An Garda Síochána to pro-actively target groups and individuals engaged in criminal activity, including organised criminal activities. In targeting such activity An Garda Síochána continue to develop and implement strategies to dismantle and disrupt criminal networks, utilising advanced analytical and intelligence methods to facilitate targeted operations and enable early intervention and prevention of such crimes.
I am assured by the Garda authorities that members of An Garda Síochána are utilising all available legislation to target organised criminal activity including the provisions contained in the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009. I am also informed that since enactment of the legislation on 23 July 2009, the legislation has been used on 175 occasions where arrests have been made relating to organised crime.
Up to the 31 August 2012, eight individuals have been charged under the legislation, six for offences relating to participating or contributing to organised crime and two for directing the activities of a criminal organisation. In February this year, the two persons charged with an offence of directing the activities of a criminal organisation pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of participation and were both sentenced to 9 years imprisonment.
In addition, arising from the arrests made under this legislation, other charges have been preferred for a range of offences including firearms offences; sale and supply of drugs and drug trafficking; violent disorder; demanding money with menaces and threats to kill. I can assure the Deputy that the activities of organised criminal gangs, including the interactions between them, continues to be monitored appropriately by An Garda Síóchána.