Stewart Dickson MLA said: “The absence of a fully functioning National Crime Agency in Northern Ireland, working within our policing structures, will hamper efforts to tackle organised crime.
“We will be asking our law enforcement officers to operate with one arm tied behind their backs. We would not be able to avail of the full range of resources and expertise that the NCA offers.
“In Northern Ireland, the NCA would not have powers to combat child exploitation, human trafficking and serious organised crime, forcing extra burdens on the PSNI. There could be serious security gaps which may be exploited by criminals.
“The Justice Minister has gone to great lengths to make the NCA locally accountable – no good reason remains to prevent it becoming fully operational.
“I hope all parties will work together to reach an agreement that would let a fully functioning NCA operate in Northern Ireland.”