Wide-ranging plans to tackle the threat of serious and organised crime have been announced by the Home Secretary Theresa May as she unveiled the government’s new Serious and Organised Crime Strategy.
The strategy uses the counter terrorism framework to set out action that will be taken at every opportunity to relentlessly disrupt serious and organised criminals.
It focuses on preventing people from getting involved in organised crime, improving Britain’s protection against serious and organised criminality and ensuring communities, victims and witnesses are supported when serious and organised crimes occur.
New measures in the strategy include:
- The new National Crime Agency to provide a national lead against organised crime, including cyber crime
- Extra funding for additional capabilities in regional police organised crime units
- Strengthened powers to attack and seize criminal assets
- A new crackdown on organised foreign organised criminals operating in this country
- More use of existing intervention programmes such as for gangs and troubled families to prevent people being drawn into organised crime
- More aggressive use of Serious Crime Prevention Orders and Travel Restriction Orders as deterrent against repeated organised crime offenders
- A lifetime offender management programme to manage interventions against persistent offenders before and after conviction with the aim of reducing reoffending
- New arrangements for reporting and investigating corruption
- New arrangements for public/private sector collaboration on financial crime and cyber crime
- A new cyber emergency response team to deal with the most serious cyber attacks, including cyber crime
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
“Organised crime is a threat to our national security so it needs a national response to turn the full force of the state against those behind the most serious crimes.
“For too long, too many organised criminals have been able to remain one step ahead. This new strategy will deliver the relentless disruption of organised criminals at every opportunity.
“The new National Crime Agency will lead the fight by strengthening the UK’s borders, tackling organised crime at home and building stronger relationships with forces at home and overseas.”
The new National Crime Agency, a powerful body of operational crime fighters, became fully operational on Monday (7 October) to lead and coordinate the national law enforcement response.
Director General of the NCA, Keith Bristow, said:
“In support of the government’s new strategy the National Crime Agency will provide leadership and national coordination to continuously disrupt organised criminals and their groups, both in the UK and abroad through effective collaboration with police forces and other law enforcement agencies.
“We will focus better use of intelligence to detect individuals committing and enabling serious and organised crime, disrupt their activities and bring them to justice.”
Serious and organised crime is a threat to national security. Police and law enforcement agencies estimate that there are over 5,500 organised crime groups operating in the UK involving around 37,000 individuals and costing the UK more than £24 billion each year.