Question Time: Justice Tuesday 24 September 2013

Prisoners Supervision in the Community, Equal Pay and Sexual Exploitation of Children featured heavily in the Topical Questions posed to the Minister of Justice, David Ford.
The DUP's Thomas Buchanan asked the justice minister whether Northern Ireland would be left more exposed to the crime of sexual exploitation of children if the National Crime Agency was not in operation.

The minister, David Ford, said it was a concern for him that "there will be a gap in some of our procedures" if Northern Ireland was not part of the NCA procedures when it became operational across the rest of the UK on 7 October.

"The specialist expertise for the United Kingdom exists within CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) at the moment, which is becoming part of the NCA, which in the absence of agreement in this house will not be able to operate in the devolved sphere in Northern Ireland,"

Anna Lo asked the Minister of Justice to update the Assembly following his commitment in June to write to the Minister of Finance and personnel about the Northern Ireland Civil Service equal pay settlement. The Minister, David Ford, said ‘’ I am certainly very keen to see the equal pay issue resolved, but the resolution is not within my powers as Minister of Justice. If it is possible to get a solution on a cross-Executive basis, I would be very pleased.

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