The National Crime Agency (NCA) has published its Annual Plan for 2018-2019, setting out what the organisation will do over the coming year to make itself “leaner and more efficient” and “deliver a step change” to the way in which it works with law enforcement and intelligence partners to fight serious and organised crime as one system.
In the Home Secretary’s foreword to the detailed 19-page document, Amber Rudd praises the NCA’s performance, stating that the organisation has “gone from strength to strength with an impressive and sustained track record of disruptions across the full range of serious and organised crime threats.”
NCA director general Lynne Owens echoes these sentiments in her own statement, highlighting that the NCA has delivered “some outstanding results since its inception”. Owens adds: “We’re not complacent. There’s more to be done in order to protect the public from the effects of serious and organised crime, which continues to grow in complexity and challenge.”
Owens concludes: “Tackling the breadth of serious and organised crime is beyond the capacity and capabilities of any one body. Agencies can no longer act in isolation to protect members of the public, and nor can any one agency hold all the tools required for a comprehensive response. This Annual Plan sets out how we will play our part in leading that response.”
Steps to be taken towards transformation
The NCA’s Annual Plan, which follows on from the Government’s National Security Capability Review, is ambitious in its scope, detailing the concrete steps that the organisation will take towards transformation over the coming period. In 2018-2019, the organisation will:
*Build critical capability through the creation of the National Assessment Centre, the National Data Exploitation Capability and the National Economic Crime Centre
*Continue to demonstrate its leadership role in tackling serious and organised crime by embedding a consistent approach towards threat leadership, including prioritisation and tasking, in order to become threat agnostic and intelligence-led in all of its investigations
*Deliver specialist and unique services to support its own operations as well as those of its partners
*Work with partner organisations to continually build an evidence base for sustainable funding
*Implement the recommendations of its international review, ensuring that activity orchestrated to tackle serious and organised crime upstream is driven by agreed national priorities
*Introduce a new streamlined structure that will also make the NCA a more efficient, agile and flexible organisation. Savings will be reinvested to increase the number of frontline officers
The NCA’s plans for the coming year are ambitious and investments will be made in officers in order to assist in delivering them. The organisation’s new pay and reward structures will make it more competitive as an employer, and also enable the NCA to grow its workforce at critical operational grades, while the diversity and inclusion strategy adopted will help to make the NCA’s workforce more reflective of the communities it serves and protects.
Director of strategy appointment
Alastair Whitehead, currently private secretary to the Prime Minister Theresa May, has been appointed as the new director for strategy at the NCA.
This newly-created post replaces the corporate strategy function and will report in directly to Nina Cope, the director general for capabilities.
Cope stated: “I’m delighted that Alastair is joining us and look forward to welcoming him to our top team. His experience of working at the sharp end of Government will bring a fresh perspective to a challenging new role.”
On his new role, Whitehead commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining the senior leadership team at the NCA, and look forward to working with colleagues throughout the organisation, both across Whitehall and beyond, in order to ensure that the Agency can advance its mission of protecting the public from the most serious criminal threats.”