Paramilitary linked organised crime '˜widespread' in NI, survey finds

Over 90% of people in Northern Ireland believe organised crime here is widespread and most believe it is linked to 'ongoing paramilitary activity', a government survey has found.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19th April 2018, 1:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2018, 1:31 pm
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The Department of Justice published the findings of the ‘Perceptions of Organised Crime: Findings from the October 2017 Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey’ yesterday.

The survey findings are based on “complete interviews” with 938 people during October and November 2017. The results were published on Wednesday as part of an action plan under the Stormont Executive’s Fresh Start agreement.

Most, 86.5%, of those asked said organised crime was linked to ongoing paramilitary activity.

More than half of respondents, 57%, said ‘fear’ prevented people from reporting crime.

When asked how widespread they believed organised crime is in Northern Ireland, a quarter (25.4%) said it was “very widespread”, just over a fifth (22.8%) said it was “widespread”, and more than two-fifths (43.3%) said “fairly widespread”.

Just 7.7% said it was not widespread and less than one per cent said they believed organised crime does not happen at all in Northern Ireland.

The overwhelming majority (93.6%) said drug dealing was one of the main types of crimes associated with organised crime.