The UK’s ability to tackle serious and organised crime to be transformed by introduction of the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The Crime and Courts Bill published today will establish the NCA as a powerful body of operational crime fighters who will ensure serious criminals and organised gangs are tracked down and brought to justice.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
‘Serious and organised crime affects people across the UK every day, and for too long we have lacked a strong, co-ordinated response.
‘The National Crime Agency will ensure those who commit serious and organised crime are brought to justice and their criminal assets are stripped away.’
Organised crime costs the public between £20 billion and £40 billion each year. The NCA will be responsible for tackling these crimes, which include child abuse, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration, fraud and cyber crime.
The NCA will operate as a single organisation built around four distinct ‘commands’ - Organised Crime, Border Policing, Economic Crime and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. The agency will also house the National Cyber Crime Unit.
The commands will be linked to the NCA’s intelligence hub to ensure information flows to and from the police and agencies to support operational activity.
For the first time, a single national agency will be capable of pulling together the complete intelligence picture - and have the authority to co-ordinate and task a national response.
Director General of the NCA Keith Bristow said:
‘The NCA is a hugely ambitious change to UK law enforcement. It will build on the good work of existing agencies to deliver a powerful, joined-up response to serious, complex and organised crime and across a wider remit which includes strengthening our borders, fighting fraud and cyber crime, and protecting children.
‘Organised criminality is a long chain which often begins well away from the communities it damages but we see its toxic local effects in drug dealing on street corners, gang violence to protect criminal markets and children at risk online in their own homes.
‘Our response will connect the local and the global to provide the best public protection possible.’
Other provisions in the Crime and Courts Bill include:
- the introduction of a new drug driving offence;
- enabling the broadcasting of court proceedings in certain prescribed circumstances;
- abolish the full right of appeal for refusal of a family visit visa and in-country rights of appeal in exclusion cases;
- reforming statutory arrangements for judicial appointments to promote diversity and introduce greater transparency;
- creating a single county court and a single family court exercising a national jurisdiction over the whole of England and Wales; and
- allowing more flexible deployment of court and tribunal judges between different jurisdictions.
Subject to parliamentary approval, the Crime and Courts Bill is expected to be granted Royal Assent by Spring 2013. The NCA will be fully operational by December 2013.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The full contents of the Crime and Courts Bill will be uploaded to http://services.parliament.uk/bills after publication.
2. For more details, or to bid for an interview with Keith Bristow, contact the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.