Sunday 19 November 2017 03:12:36 AM

Alliance Calls For Northern Ireland To Be In National Crime Register
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ALLIANCE Party South Down spokesperson Councilor Patrick has said the failure to agree for Northern Ireland to sign up to the UK- wide National Crime Agency will make it harder for police in the North to deal with organised crime. He said that the SDLP and Sinn Fein have blocked plans for the Assembly to pass a Legislative Consent Motion which would allow it to operate.

Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “The decision to block the Northern Ireland’s participation in the National Crime Agency will come back to bite those who opposed to it. This will make it much more difficult to deal with organised crimes in our community.

“The alternative to the NCA operating in Northern Ireland is a bigger burden on an already overstretched PSNI. It will fragment efforts to tackle crime nationally and internationally and, quite frankly, make us a laughing stock across the border and throughout Europe.

“We must not allow political dogma to drown out the evidence. Just because this is an all-UK approach does not make it bad or something that we need to be suspicious of.

“Organised crime is increasingly trans-national, with no respect for borders, and crime groups are quick to take advantage of differences in legal codes or state capabilities across borders to accomplish their ends. We have witnessed this when people traffickers have used countries with lax immigration controls as transit states, and when thieves and smugglers have exploited flaws in border controls. Crime groups are quick to catch on to weaknesses.

“We are already being targeted by international crime gangs operating on a global scale. Why are the SDLP and Sinn Fein putting us at risk of further insecurity? Recent history has demonstrated the need to counter such activity through trans-national policing arrangements and by institutionalising cooperation, yet some in this chamber want to deny these efforts.

“The NCA will offer expertise in cyber- crime and child exploitation – which are both on the rise globally.

“We need our police officers to be able to easily access information from across the globe, faster, quicker and smarter than any criminal – because that is the world that criminals inhabit – and that is the world that Sinn Fein and the SDLP want us to turn our backs on.”