Members of the Policing Board today (3 March), met with newly appointed Director General of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens, to receive a report on a number of issues in relation to the operation and performance of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in Northern Ireland.
At the first meeting in public with the Director General since the Board took on the role of monitoring the exercise of the functions of the NCA in Northern Ireland, Board Chair Anne Connolly stressed the importance of this new duty and demonstrating the success and strategic benefit this collaboration brings to the PSNI in operational activity.
Mrs Connolly said: “The NCA’s role is to disrupt criminal gangs in our society, ensuring information is gathered and criminality targeted across local, national and international borders.
Today’s meeting focussed on the NCA’s national strategic priorities and the Board’s role in monitoring the Agency in respect of overall performance in Northern Ireland.
It is important as a Board that we see tangible benefits from the specialist work that the NCA brings to policing here and the specialist skills that PSNI can benefit from in terms of tackling child sexual exploitation and cyber enabled crime. The recent publicised successes in joint NCA/PSNI operations against child exploitation and drugs importation provides a snapshot of that work.
In the report received today by the Board, we were also informed of operations involving blackmail, murder, cybercrime and human trafficking and some of the specialist assistance and resourcing that NCA has provided. During the meeting Board Members also had the opportunity to question the Director General on NCA operations in Northern Ireland.
Working together, the NCA and PSNI are in a better position to respond to new and emerging threats and develop strategies to tackle criminality across borders particularly with regard to their international reach, civil recovery powers and specialist support.
Overall the engagement with the Director General was positive and we look forward to building a good working relationship with the NCA moving forward.”
For further information, please contact the Northern Ireland Policing Board’s Communications Office on 07801738795.
Notes to editors
- On 3 February 2015 the Assembly consented to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (National Crime Agency and Proceeds of Crime) (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 which allowed the NCA to become fully operational in Northern Ireland. The Policing Board has been responsible for oversight arrangements since 20th May 2015.
- Information on the Board’s accountability role can be found here.
- Further information on the role and work of the NCA can be found here.
- Picture caption: Board Chair Anne Connolly (front left) and Director General of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens (front right) sign a Memorandum of Understanding for how the Board and NCA will do business. Pictured are Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris and Vice Chair of the Policing Board Debbie Watters.
Notes to editors ends.