Minister warns of high levels of organised crime


The threat of organised crime "is no smaller than it was in the days of terror", the environment minister told the Assembly, on 14 May 2013.

Speaking during Question Time, Alex Attwood said the problem of illegal fuel laundering and dumping was growing.

In reply to a question from the SDLP's Alban Maginness, the minister said one haulier had lost their licence the previous week.

He said there were 19 cases in the system and "I hope those people lose their licences".

Mickey Brady of Sinn Fein asked for an update on north south co-operation on road safety.

Mr Attwood said there had been 21 road deaths in the year to date, this compared to 12 over the same period the previous year.

He listed a number of actions being taken to address the problem.

Anna Lo of Alliance asked what progress had been made with the Dublin government on the mutual recognition of penalty points.

The minister said it was not "easy law" and would not be easy to implement once the law was in place.

He said there was a high political commitment to the policy and "in my view we will get it over the line".

In questions to the finance minister, Sue Ramsey of Sinn Fein wanted to know the minister's views on the Westminster Parliament's same sex marriage bill.

Since the minister and his party were opposed to same sex marriage was there not a possibility that his department could be open to legal challenge, she asked.

The minister, Sammy Wilson, said he had been assured that this was not the case.

"There is now on this matter nobody more British than Sinn Fein," he added.

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