Mr. Ford and Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter TD hosted the annual cross border organised crime seminar at the Killyhevlin Hotel.
"The Threat Assessment outlines how human trafficking remains a priority area for both jurisdictions. The levels and potency of illegal drugs, fuel laundering and tobacco fraud also feature heavily along with emerging threats such as an increase in cybercrime.
"As Justice Minister and chair of the Organised Crime Task Force I stand with my colleagues north and south in our fight against organised crime. Our response and resolve will no doubt be further strengthened by today's seminar. To assist us we continue to ask the public for their vigilance and help. Organised crime gangs exist because of public demand for their goods and services. I would urge everyone to think about the impact these gangs have on our society, to reject the services they offer and report what they know to the police or to Crimestoppers," said Mr. Ford.
The event provides an opportunity for government and law enforcement agencies from across the island of Ireland to share ideas, discuss emerging issues and threats and develop plans for future operational activity.
The Ministers were joined by PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris and Deputy Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan from An Garda Siochana who published the Cross Border Organised Crime Assessment 2012.
The Assessment provides an overview of organised crime in both jurisdictions and outlines some of the cross-border successes.
Mr. Ford said: "This seminar is an important date in the diary for those working across the island of Ireland to tackle organised crime. Both jurisdictions have longstanding and strong links and this seminar provides a vital opportunity to take stock and plan for the future.
"The level of cooperation that exists ensures that considerable effort is being made on both sides of the border to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs who bring such harm to our community".