Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
As the Deputy will be aware, responsibility for the identification, tracing, freezing, and ultimate confiscation of criminal assets rests with a number of different agencies and statutory bodies. These include An Garda Síochána, the Criminal Assets Bureau, as well as Revenue, the Chief State Solicitor's Office, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Courts.
In accordance with the law, all confiscations from the proceeds of crime are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to be paid into the Exchequer. As the Deputy will be aware, Government draws from this Central Fund for expenditure on all necessary public services and investment, including for communities affected by crime.
I am pleased that Minister McGrath and Minister McEntee announced in April agreement in principle to establish a new Community Safety Innovation Fund. They committed that this Fund will reflect the significant successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in disrupting criminal activity and seizing proceeds of crime by providing additional funding for investment in community safety projects.
The scheme, when established, will consider applications to allocate funds to community safety projects and other policy initiatives in the area, including the work of the new Local Community Safety Partnerships.
The intention is that the Community Safety Innovation Fund would:
Ensure that the best proposals to improve community safety will get the funding they need;
Encourage the development of innovative ways in which to improve community safety from those people who understand community safety needs; and
Allow best practice on community safety to be shared as new proposals get developed.
The details of how the fund will be allocated will be finalised as part of the forthcoming budgetary process.