NI: Department of Justice launches ad campaign against organised crime

Justice Minister Claire Sugden
Justice Minister Claire Sugden

Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister Claire Sugden has launched a new advertising campaign against organised crime under the terms of the Fresh Start Agreement.

Ms Sugden said the campaign is “part of the Executive’s much wider drive to rid Northern Ireland of the scourge of paramilitarism”.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the End the Harm campaign, Ms Sugden said: “We need everyone’s support to tackle the scourge of organised crime. If you buy even one counterfeit top, or one bottle of fake perfume, you are unwittingly funding the work of organised crime groups.”

She added: “The campaign is part of the Executive’s much wider drive to rid Northern Ireland of the scourge of paramilitarism. It stems from the Fresh Start Agreement which led to a detailed report by a three person independent panel and an agreed Executive action plan.

“Work this year includes additional funding for forensic science, work to reduce re-offending and speeding up the delivery of justice. We are also working closely with law enforcement agencies to develop a range of detailed initiatives.”

Ms Sugden said there are no “quick fixes” to organised crime and said the Executive required “politicial, policing and community support”.

She added: “People in Northern Ireland need to make a choice; turn a blind eye to criminality or take a stand and say no to those who are set on inflicting harm on our communities. I would encourage anyone with information to contact the PSNI or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

Gary Reid, PSNI Detective Superintendent Reactive and Organised Crime, said: “Police need the support of the community to help tackle this hidden crime. It is not harmless and there are real victims as a consequence of peoples actions in buying such products. We hope that this campaign will help educate people about the ramifications of the harm caused as a result of inadvertently supporting organised crime gangs through what might seem harmless purchases.”

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