This week the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) published their 2015 National Strategic Assessment.
The Assessment presents a comprehensive picture of the threat to the UK from serious and organised crime, and helps to inform the work of the NCA and their international partners, including in the UAE.
Some of the key findings from the Assessment include: child sexual exploitation and abuse represents one of the highest risks; the risk from organised immigration crime, human trafficking and modern slavery has increased; and, fraud continues to cost the UK billions of pounds and remains a high priority. The Assessment also highlights the increased opportunities afforded to criminals from advancements in technology.
The NCA - along with other departments, including the Metropolitan Police Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Home Office’s Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – are part of the UK law enforcement team present at the British Embassies in the UAE. The team is constantly engaged with their Emirati counterparts to tackle organised crime and money laundering. This close relationship and cooperation is valued and appreciated by the UK. It has led to operational successes, including the seizure of proceeds of crime, extradition of criminals between the two countries, and disruption of crime to reduce the threat to the UK and UAE.
For example, Dubai Police’s Anti Narcotics Unit and the NCA have been working closely together to seize illegal drugs and combat the harm caused to communities from organised crime groups involved in drugs trafficking. Since March 2015, this cooperation has led to the seizure of multiple kilograms of cocaine, heroin and cannabis. RALON have worked with local partners to secure a number of disruptions of criminal groups resulting in more secure airports and borders for both countries. Dubai Police’s Anti Money Laundering Unit and HMRC are working together and leading international operations that have dismantled organised criminal attacks on EU Revenue systems - protecting over AED6 billion.
Another example of collaboration in this area was the exchange of letters of intent in March this year by the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and the UK’s Home Office confirming that the UAE would host the second #WeProtect Children Online Global Summit following the London 2014 summit.
Speaking after the publication of the National Strategic Assessment, Her Majesty’s Consul General for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Edward Hobart said:
The impact of serious and organised crime is felt by us all. It contributes to insecurity at both personal and national levels and it costs us money through fraud. As two globally active countries, the relationship between the UK and UAE law enforcement bodies is important in our fight against serious organised crime. Our partnership is highly valued by the UK. It is having a tangible impact tackling criminal threats to the UK, the UAE, and beyond, and it continues to get stronger.
Notes to editors:
The National Strategic Assessment can be seen here