Brits create new crime fighting agency

Posted on | juni 15, 2011 | No Comments

Theresa May

The United Kingdom this week unveiled its own version of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation which the Home Office named the National Crime Agency (NCA). However, when viewing the U.K.’s new agency, it’s more like Her Majesty’s Secret Service Agent James Bond teaming up with Arizona’s controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The NCA will spearhead the U.K.’s fight against serious and organized crime, strengthen policing at the border, enforce immigration laws, and ensure local policing effectively links to the work of national agencies and action overseas, the British Home Secretary’s office announced.

According to criminologists, organized crime gangs cost the U.K. public between $15 billion and $25 billion annually and affects the everyday lives of numerous law-abiding individuals. The NCA will be responsible for tackling these crimes which include child abuse, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration, fraud, cyber crime and many other serious and organized crime gang activities.

There are about 38,000 organized criminals in the U.K. and around 6,000 organized crime groups This estimated total cost of organized crime to the U.K. includes £17.6bn (trafficking of controlled drugs), £7.8bn (financial crime) and a proportion of the £27bn cost of all cyber crime. Research suggests that around six per cent of homicides have some link to, or are driven by, organized crime. There were an estimated 2,600 trafficked female victims of sexual exploitation in England and Wales during a 12-month period.

Until now in the United Kingdom, there had been no national overview or means of coordinating and focusing the law enforcement response to come to grips with the scale and complexity of the nation’s crime problem. This has led to too many of the estimated 6,000 groups involved in organized crime in the U.K. escaping justice.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The impact of serious and organized crime is felt across the U.K. in the everyday lives of people and neighborhoods.For too long we have lacked a strong, collaborative national response in the fight for criminal justice, with a fragmented approach to policy, prevention and investigation. It is time for a fresh start.”

“By creating a powerful new body of operational crime fighters – the National Crime Agency – we will confront the serious and organized criminality that threatens the safety and security of the UK,” she said.

“The NCA will work in partnership with the police, law enforcement agencies, businesses and the public to ensure those who commit serious and organized crime are tracked down, pursued, brought to justice and their ill gotten gains are stripped away,” said Secretary May.

At the heart of the NCA will be an intelligence division that will build and maintain a national intelligence picture of the threats, harms and risks to the U.K. from domestic and international organized criminals. This information will be used to prioritize criminals and task police and law enforcement agencies to ensure there is an appropriate operational response.

The NCA will employ investigators, enforcement officers, intelligence analysts and technical, financial and operational specialists. Trained officers will have police, customs and immigration powers and use the latest technology and investigative and disruption tools to tackle criminal activity.

The NCA will be made up of four distinct parts or ‘commands’ – Organized Crime, Border Policing, Economic Crime and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP). The commands will be linked to the NCA’s intelligence center which will ensure information flows to and from the police and other law enforcement agencies in support of tactical operational activity.

The Organized Crime Command will lead on action against organized crime groups across local, national and international borders. The Command will work with police forces and other agencies to ensure that prioritized and appropriate action is taken against every organized crime group identified.

The Border Policing Command will co-ordinate and set the strategy for law enforcement agencies operating at the UK border. NCA officers, the UK Border Agency, Special Branch Ports officers, the police and others will work together under a single Border Security Strategy to ensure illegal goods are seized, illegal immigrants dealt with and networks of organized criminals more effectively targeted and disrupted both overseas and at ports up and down the UK.

The Economic Crime Command will ensure an innovative and improved capability to deal with economic crimes, including those carried out by organized criminals. It will co-ordinate effective action to tackle complex economic crime and will ensure the coherent use of resources across all national economic crime fighting agencies including the Serious Fraud Office and City of London Police.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center will retain its vital national role, unique identity and capabilities, while benefiting from shared intelligence across the NCA. This intelligence will highlight where child exploitation and abuse links to other forms of serious organized criminality and shared enforcement resources will enable wider ranging and more effective operations. Commands will benefit from the sharing of intelligence and analytical capabilities, specialist support, investigative and enforcement resources and the drawing in and support of law enforcement agencies.

NCA officers will be employed from a range of backgrounds and specialties. As operational crime fighters, they will be able to make full use of a wide range of law enforcement and investigative powers. Subject to training, NCA officers can be given the powers of a police constable, customs powers and the powers of an immigration officer.

AUTHOR: Jim Kouri
E-MAIL: COPmagazine [at]


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