Garda’s abilities and record on tackling transnational crime to be investigated

Transnational crime such as fraud and cyber offences an increasing problem for State

The inspection comes at a time when transnational crime is becoming an increasing problem for the Republic. Photograph: Getty Images

The inspection comes at a time when transnational crime is becoming an increasing problem for the Republic. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The Garda’s record and ability in tackling transnational crime, including trafficking in drugs, people and guns, is set to come under close scrutiny as part of a major new inspection launched by the Garda Inspectorate.

The inspection comes at a time when transnational crime is becoming an increasing problem for the Republic, and globally, across a wide variety of crime types including fraud and cyber offences.

The Garda Inspectorate, an oversight agency which studies areas of Irish policing and recommends reform, is to investigate the Garda’s transnational investigative abilities, including its training and relationships with law enforcement in other jurisdictions.

“The primary aim of the inspection will be to establish how effective the Garda Síochána are at preventing transnational crime, and disrupting and dismantling transnational organised crime groups,” said Mark Toland, the chief inspector of the Garda Inspectorate.

Intelligence sharing

The inspection, titled Transnational Organised Crime – A Review of the Structures, Strategies and Processes in the Garda Síochána, will examine the “structures, strategies and processes in place to tackle transnational organised crime”.

It will review the powers available to the Garda, the training provide to members of the force and the resources committed to transnational crime, including ICT, liaison officers and specialist crime tools.

The nature of co-operation between the Garda and law enforcement abroad, as well as intelligence sharing will be examined.

Almost all of the Republic’s drugs trade, except for cannabis crops from Irish grow houses, involves transnational crime, while Irish criminals based in the Republic and abroad are playing an increasingly significant role in international drugs trafficking.

Exploitation

The trafficking of people into, or through, the Republic for forced labour, prostitution or other forms of exploitation is also seen as an issue of concern. A number of international fraud networks are also recruiting people in Ireland and using Irish bank accounts to facilitate their international crimes.

Other areas of Irish policing set to be scrutinised as part of the review include how well the Garda understands and responds to the “key enablers” of international crime including technology, financial arrangements and transport systems. It will also examine the nature of the international operations the Garda force takes part in and how effective those actions have been from an Irish perspective.

For the purposes of its inspection, the Garda Inspectorate is defining transnational crimes as offences committed by crime groups across, or which have an impact on, more than one country. It said examples of such crimes include “trafficking in people, drugs and firearms, money laundering and document or identity fraud”.