Saturday 10 December 2016

Tens of millions of euros will be spent on garda overtime to combat gangland crime - Justice Minister

Geraldine Gittens

Published 01/06/2016 | 10:46

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Tom Burke
Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Tom Burke

Tens of millions of euros will be spent on garda overtime in order to combat gangland crime, Minister Frances Fitzgerald has revealed.

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It has been estimated that €41.9m will be spent on garda overtime this year, but the Minister admitted that the cost has gone “way beyond that” in the past.

“We will put whatever resources are needed into this current challenge,” she told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.

“On the one hand you want to deal at an international level with the gangs who are operating internationally, and so much crime in transglobal now, but you also have to go after these people who flaunt the assets from their criminal activity in terms of drug dealing.”

“We’re now investing very substantial – hundreds of millions of resources – back into An Garda Siochana.”

The justice minister said she has held “detailed discussions over the last numbers of weeks” with the chief officer of the Criminal Assets Bureau and other members.

New powers will see the threshold for cash seizures by CAB reduced from €6,500 to €1,000.

“I am following the people on the frontline,” she said in relation to taking advice from the CAB for what measurements are needed.

“[CAB has] actually been copied internationally, it’s one of the huge successes following the tragic death of Veronica Guerin, that this country has done in criminal justice terms.”

The new armed response unit, which will be active by the end of the year, and a special crime taskforce as part of the garda drugs and organised crime unit will combat gangland crime, she said.

"[The Garda Commissioner] is bringing together in this special taskforce those people who are working on the drugs issue, she can work with the Departement of Social Protection, with Revenue... it's a coordinating mechanism," the Minister said.

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