The Organised Crime Taskforce (OCTF) was established in the year 2000 to provide a multi-agency partnership approach to tackling crime in Northern Ireland. The OCTF brings together police, customs and other law enforcement agencies, along with Government Departments, the Policing Board and the local community to combat organised crime. The partner agencies of the OCTF work in partnership to set priorities and to develop strategies and agree actions to confront organised crime in Northern Ireland, from extortion to smuggling.
While evaluation of the work undertaken by the OCTF would suggest that the Task Force has been successful in increasing public awareness of the harm caused by organised crime, there is little evidence to suggest a change in public attitudes towards such crime e.g. there is still public demand for the products and services provided by organised criminal gangs.
As a means of addressing this issue during the current year, the OCTF has included in its strategy (due to be published in October) a commitment to undertake a new project called ‘Changing the Mindset’. The particular focus of this project will be to engage effectively with the public in an effort to bring about a reduction in the public demand for products and services provided by organised gangs.