Drugs: Smuggling

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 16th January 2015.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to help the Northern Ireland Executive and the Police Service of Northern Ireland to tackle drug smuggling in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

It is now critical that there is agreement on extending the full remit of the National Crime Agency to Northern Ireland. The failure to do so has meant that the PSNI have had to dedicate precious resources to combating serious and organised crimes such as drug smuggling, and have not been able to take full advantage of the expertise that the NCA can provide.

Progress on this issue ultimately depends on the political parties reaching agreement, and the Justice Minister, David Ford MLA, continues to lead efforts to achieve that. I fully support those efforts; it is not acceptable that Northern Ireland lacks the same protection from serious and organised crime as the rest of the UK.

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