The Police Service of Northern Ireland today, 15 February, welcomed members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board at a meeting of officers, staff and partners involved in the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF).

Members of the Policing Board with Emma Neill, Avine Kelly and Ray Phelan

Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Neill provided Policing Board members with an insight into the work of Organised Crime teams, with a focus on the role of the PCTF.

Speaking after the visit, Detective Chief Superintendent Neill commented: “We were delighted to welcome members of the Board to meet officers and staff involved in the important work of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force. We provided an insight into what the PCTF does on a daily basis, and how police officers, staff and partner agencies work together to disrupt the activities of paramilitary groups. 

“The PCTF comprises the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs, all working as one co-located team.

“Today was an opportunity to show how this multi-agency task force seeks to protect our communities by tackling all forms of criminality linked to paramilitarism.”

Vice Chair of the Board's Partnership Committee Mukesh Sharma and Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Neill
Vice Chair of NI Policing Board Partnership Committee Mukesh Sharma and Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Neill

Vice Chair of the Board’s Partnership Committee, Mukesh Sharma, said: “It was good to meet and hear from PSNI officers, staff and other partner agencies about their work.  

“Being co-located has tangible benefits as evidenced by some of the successes achieved to date.  Members were also keen to find out how new organised crime legislation, such as Unexplained Wealth Orders, have been of benefit to officers in their work.
“We all know the terrible impact the illegal activities of paramilitary groups can have on people’s lives in local areas, and people want those responsible for organised crime of any type brought to justice.

“As a Board, we very much support focus being maintained on this work, and making sure that police are resourced to deliver results.”

Vice Chair of the Board's Partnership Committee Mukesh Sharma and Mike Nesbitt

The Detective Chief Superintendent outlined PCTF efforts, from its inception in November 2017 up until 31 January 2024:

1071 searches have been conducted;
Over £4.8 million (£4,825,953) of controlled drugs have been recovered;
339 weapons and firearms have been seized;
468 arrests have been made;
508 people have been charged/reported for prosecution;
Over £1 million of cash (£1,002,860) has been seized, and over £2.36 million worth of property;
£1.8 million in Property Recovery Orders have been issued;
Over £22 million (£22,132,741) in revenue loss has been prevented.

She said: “We rely about ongoing collective efforts, and I’m taking this opportunity to appeal to anyone with information or concerns to please speak up. You can contact our officers on 101, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers with 100% anonymity.”

Find out more about the Police Service’s Organised Crime Branch