Serious and organised crime affects people, communities and businesses across the UK, which is why the Government launched a comprehensive cross-government Strategy and established the National Crime Agency in October 2013. The Strategy uses a proven framework – based on the four areas of Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare – to tackle the threats we face. Significant developments since its publication include:
Under Pursue, the Government has invested in better capabilities to combat cyber crime and strengthen Regional Organised Crime Units, introduced important new legislation through the Serious Crime Act 2015 and Modern Slavery Bill, and committed an extra £10 million to tackle online child sexual exploitation. These steps will further improve law enforcement’s ability to identify, disrupt and prosecute serious and organised criminals.
Under Prevent, pilot projects have been launched to deter at-risk groups from being drawn into serious and organised crime, and a frontline team has been established to support local delivery of the Strategy.
Under Protect, the Government has successfully ramped-up cooperation on economic crime through the Financial Sector Forum, and has published a new anti-corruption plan.
Under Prepare, we have established a new statutory Code of Practice for victims of crime setting out the information and services that victims are entitled to receive from criminal justice agencies, a new national Protected Persons Service, and a new exercise programme to test and improve our response to serious and organised crime incidents.
Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Karen Bradley said:
Serious and organised crime blights communities and impacts on national security.
This report demonstrates that the Government is prioritising the fight against serious and organised crime, and that the Strategy is making a difference.
After too many years in which organised criminal groups, their members and their associates have gone unpunished, we are sending the clearest possible message.
Whoever you are and wherever you are, if you’re involved in organised crime then we will come after you, we will find you, we will prosecute you.
The scale of the threat from serious and organised crime has been demonstrated by high profile cases of child sexual exploitation; growing use of cyber techniques by organised criminals to commit fraud and trade illegal drugs and firearms on the internet; and the spread of banking malware responsible for losses of hundreds of millions of pounds.