The Organised Crime Task Force was established in 2000 to provide a multi-agency partnership approach to tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland. The Organised Crime Task Force brings together police, customs and other law enforcement agencies, along with Government Departments, the Policing Board and the local business community to combat organised crime.
The partner agencies of the OCTF work in partnership to set priorities, develop strategies and agree actions to confront organised crime in Northern Ireland, from extortion to fuel smuggling. The OCTF does not take take any operational responsibility, that remains with the individual law enforcement agencies, but is supported by a structure of sub-groups each dealing with specific operational and policy issues. See organisational structure.
The OCTF undertakes regular threat assessments of emerging trends and looks at how these may be mitigated. A victim support network was established in Northern Ireland on 1 April 2009 to provide professional support, provided by Women's Aid, to female victims of sexual exploitation. In addition Migrant Helpline offers professional support to male victims and for all victims of forced labour and domestic servitude.
Whilst we continue to tackle organised crime on an operational level we are also seeking ways to invest in communities most affected by organised crime. Our organised crime partners have pledged to increase the amount of investment into communities' year on year from the proceeds of organised crime which law enforcement and the courts have confiscated from criminal gangs and the Assets Recovery Community Scheme funds several community based projects throughout Northern Ireland.