The social and economic costs of organised crime equates to more than £24bn/year including: drugs supply £10.7bn, organised fraud £8.9bn, organised immigration £1bn and has a major impact on the UK and generates substantial criminal revenues, with many serious and organised criminals remaining one step ahead and out of reach of law enforcement.
Organised crime leads to loss of life and can deprive people of their security and prosperity. Crime groups intimidate and corrupt and have a corrosive impact on some communities. ‘Human trafficking could be regarded as a pernicious form of modern slavery’.
Estimates put the level of organised crime activity at 5,500 active organised crime groups and 37,000 people, and 1,500 drug related deaths (Source: Serious & Organised Crime Strategy Paper, October 2013, published by HM govt).
A new approach was needed and the required strategy, together with the creation of the National Crime Agency, must be built on a framework of strong partnerships.
Serious and organised crime requires a response across the whole of government and close collaboration with the public to include: ·
- Increased inter-agency collaboration
- Changes to legislation to create more effective powers
- Develop and bring together intelligence across multiple agencies
- Prioritisation of crime groups according to the threat they present
- Effective offender management programmes for tracking serious and organised criminals into and beyond the gate
- Increased collaboration between law enforcement and local authorities
- New systems for reporting corruption
- Supporting communities: sentencing to take into account harm to communities
- New victim’s code: what support victims are entitled to
- Witness Charter and overhaul to witness protection
Police forces will continue to conduct most law enforcement work on serious and organised crime, supported by new locally organised crime partnership boards, including local authorities and other agencies, with police and crime commissioners playing a leading role.
Reforms to policing include removing targets and increasing accountability through police and crime commissioners, which will strengthen the response at local level.
Pursue: New organisations with new roles and responsibilities
Prevent: Education and communications programmes
Protect: Physical protection including secure borders
Prepare: Supporting emergency services and communities
But what will this mean for organisations working within our communities, delivering services to those most affected by organised crime including the victims?
This conference will enable us to come together to debate, consider and engage, so that we can build strong and effective partnerships, to address organised crime and create safer communities with fewer victims.
Organised Crime: Serious crime planned, coordinated and conducted by people working together on a continuing basis, often motivated by financial gain, categorised by violence or threat of violence and by use of bribery and corruption. Organised groups and urban street gangs differ only by the level of criminality, organisation, planning and control but there are connections between gangs and organised crime; urban gang members may engage in street drug dealing on behalf of organised criminals. Areas of high gang activity tend to be areas where organised criminals are most active.
For more information please visit the No Offence! website.