PSNI welcomes the report of the Independent Reporting Commission

  • 23 October 2018

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Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray said: “PSNI welcomes the report of the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC), and in particular the acknowledgment of the ‘encouraging start’ made by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF).

“To date, working with our partners in the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the PCTF has carried out 376 searches, made 161 arrests and secured 124 disposals against those paramilitary groups assessed as not presenting a threat to National Security.

“The Task Force has recovered significant quantities of criminal property/proceeds of crime including cash, property, vehicles, illicit drugs and contraband cigarettes.  This amounts to over £1.3 million of revenue loss prevented, over 150 firearms and weapons taken off the streets (guns, imitation guns and offensive weapons), just under £800,000 in cash seized or restrained and drugs with a street value around £300,000 being seized. (*Note these figures cover to the end of August 2018) There has also been a successful prosecution of an individual who received a 3 year prison sentence after being convicted of membership of a proscribed organisation.

"In addition to the work of the PCTF, the PSNI continues to work with MI5 to counter the National Security threat posed by the remaining paramilitary groups operating in Northern Ireland.

"Since November 1, 2017 the PSNI’s Terrorism Investigation Unit and PCTF have carried out a combined 308 searches, 129 arrests and have charged or reported 103 persons for criminal offences.

"While the enforcement action by the PSNI and our partners in tackling paramilitary activity and associated criminality is significant, the problem needs a societal approach as policing alone will not solve it. This is reflected in the Executive Action Plan’s approach in tackling the scourge of paramilitarism within our communities.

“Policing with the community will remain at the very heart of our service delivery; we note the comments of the IRC in relation to the enhanced problem solving training being delivered to front line officers and staff prior to the conclusion of the Local Policing Review. However, it is important to note that irrespective of the outcome of the Review, we felt this training was essential for all our officers.

"We will continue to play our part in tackling the threat posed by paramilitarism while at the same time promoting and contributing to the development and resilience of the communities they are seeking to exploit.”