‘Much needed’ funding for the National Crime Agency has become embroiled in a turf war between the Executive and the NIO, according to Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie.
He said he was disappointed that a bid for funding for the organisation which is ‘so critical to fighting organised crime and paramilitary activity’ has been removed from the Fresh Start bidding process.
“I find it hard to understand how an organisation such as the NCA - which brings so much specialised tactical and strategic intelligence support to law enforcement - is not key to the delivery of Fresh Start.
“Although organised crime is not unique to NI, when one considers the legacy of our past, our present terrorist threat and the various still active yet bespoke paramilitary groupings, it adds a serious dimension that affects every quarter of our society. I was therefore shocked to learn that not one penny has been made available,” he said.