HC Deb 29 October 2003 vol 412 cc293-4
7. Mr. Russell Brown (Dumfries)

What recent assessment he has made of the level of co-operation between the British and Irish Governments in tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland. [134149]

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Jane Kennedy)

Co-operation with the Irish Government is excellent and we are working together to develop a cross-border threat assessment and a joint strategy to tackle organised crime.

Mr. Brown

I commend my hon. Friend for all her efforts and her determination to tackle crime, with support from both sides of the border. A necessary adjunct to cross-border co-operation is the work of the Organised Crime Task Force, which is unique in the UK. Will she congratulate everyone from all organisations on both sides of the border who are working so hard in extremely difficult circumstances?

Jane Kennedy

I am happy to congratulate all the agencies involved in the work of the Organised Crime Task Force. It is a matter of great pride and pleasure for me to be associated with them. There is now an enhanced understanding of cross-border organised crime, on which to build effective joint action against the criminals who use the border to their advantage. Significant developments are taking place in the fight against organised crime, which I am happy to commend to the House.