Organised Crime Unit
In November 2005 the Garda Commissioner established a dedicated Organised Crime Unit (OCU) within the NBCI on a temporary basis. In January 2008 the Commissioner established the unit on a permanent basis. The OCU conducts intelligence-led operations against organised criminal groups.
The OCU focuses on criminality that transcends garda divisional boundaries including armed robberies, hi-jacking of valuable loads and commodities, warehouse burglaries, ‘tiger’ kidnappings and the importation of large quantities of controlled drugs.
The unit works in close cooperation with other specialist units including the Garda National Drugs Unit, the Garda National Immigration Unit and the Emergency Response Unit. The OCU also works closely with local Gardaí.
The main function of the Anti-Racketeering Unit is the protection of intellectual property rights. To ensure a structured and coordinated approach in tackling the problem of counterfeit products, the Unit liaises on a national basis with investigating Gardaí and assists in all aspects of this particular criminality.
Personnel also interact with other agencies involved in the protection of intellectual property. This activity raises awareness of the value of intellectual property rights, both in terms of creation and royalty revenue.
Arts and Antiques Unit
The theft of art and antiques caters for a specialised niche market in such goods, and this Unit has developed a specialised expertise in investigating associated criminality.
The Unit, through a range of activities, aims to heighten public awareness of this type of theft. It also provides operational assistance and expertise to Garda personnel investigating this type of crime.
To keep abreast of international markets and developments in this area, the Unit liaises with arts and antiques dealers and museums and galleries worldwide as well as other similar police investigation units.
Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit
The Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit (SMVIU) investigates the theft of motor vehicles, plant or machinery and related crime.
The Unit liaises regularly with the motor industry, insurance companies, car hire companies, car auctions and with similar police investigative units in other jurisdictions. The Unit also uses the media to assist in preventing motor vehicle theft and associated crime.
The SMVIU is involved on an ongoing basis with Europol and Interpol operations and initiatives. An Garda Síochána has instant access to the Stolen Vehicle Database from 63 countries throughout the world. As a result, the Unit has been able to identify and seize a considerable number of vehicles stolen in Japan, the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.