12. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which he continues to combat organised crime, with particular reference to gangland activity and the induction of teenagers into a criminal lifestyle by crime warlords; the extent to which further resources are required in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21144/19]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: From changes of time to gangland crime - such is the breadth of responsibility of the Department of Justice and Equality.
I assure the Deputy that tackling organised crime and those involved in it is an ongoing priority for the Government and An Garda Síochána. Multi-disciplinary approaches are used by An Garda Síochána to ensure the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminality are effectively targeted. Such approaches include the use of money-laundering legislation and focused intelligence-led operations by Garda specialist units, including the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the National Economic Crime Bureau and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations with support as required from the security and intelligence section and close co-operation with the Criminal Assets Bureau.
The necessary resources continue to be made available to address this issue. A total budget of €1.76 billion has been provided to An Garda Síochána in 2019, an increase of over €100 million on the 2018 allocation.
Garda operational responses to gangland-related crime in Dublin are co-ordinated under Operation Hybrid. As of 13 January 2019, there were 86 arrests related to gang-related killings and three persons convicted of murder had consequent life sentences imposed. In addition, 290 searches have been undertaken, 37 firearms have been seized and over 17,000 lines of inquiry conducted. More than 76,000 high visibility checkpoints had been implemented up to 4 May, with significant support from armed support units. A large amount of CCTV footage, mobile phone traffic and forensic evidence is being examined. Operation Hybrid is reviewed on a weekly basis to maintain optimal impact on this important issue.