The National Crime Agency (NCA) has just published its second public-facing analysis of the serious and organised crime threats presently affecting the UK. The National Strategic Assessment (NSA), which is produced on an annual basis, draws together knowledge from across the whole law enforcement community, in turn offering an objective picture of serious and organised crime threats and enabling UK law enforcement as a whole to prioritise, co-ordinate and target the response.
Themes brought out in the 2015 assessment include an overall increase in the risk from human trafficking and modern slavery, and a specific increase in labour exploitation. Money laundering is now a high priority risk in its own right while there’s an expectation that criminals will focus on mobile malware as the use of apps for financial transactions increases.
In addition, the growing complexity of tracing online criminal activity as the next generation of IP addresses rolls out is pinpointed, so too the fact that bribery and corruption remain critical enablers for all types of criminality.
The NSA is presented in two sections. The first of these analyses the key threats including child sexual exploitation and abuse, firearms, organised immigration crime, human trafficking and modern slavery, cyber crime, money laundering, drugs, economic crime and organised acquisitive crime.
The second section assesses the cross-cutting threats which underpin most serious and organised crime, including corruption, criminal use of Internet technology, prisons and lifetime management, border vulnerabilities and the criminal use of identity as an enabler.
The NCA’s director general Keith Bristow commented: “Serious and organised crime affects us all. It’s a pervasive national security threat with far-reaching effects on the UK’s social and economic well-being and international reputation. Its perpetrators are highly innovative and tenacious in pursuing their goals. Our response must be resourceful and relentless.”
Continuing the latter theme, Bristow added: “To inform that response, we need a comprehensive understanding of the risk. The National Strategic Assessment draws together that single picture and has been produced in consultation with a broad range of partners.”
In conclusion, Bristow stated: “A collaborative approach remains vital across policing and law enforcement. Partnerships, both domestic and international, bringing together the public and private sectors, academia, charities and society as a whole are crucial when it comes to delivering a lasting detrimental effect on serious and organised crime impacting on the UK.”
NCA director general to retire in 2016
NCA director general Keith Bristow is to retire from law enforcement in 2016. He has made the announcement now in order to allow good time for the appointment of his successor at the NCA and to enable a smooth handover.
“It has been a privilege to play a role in building and shaping the National Crime Agency,” explained Bristow. “Over the past four years our officers and law enforcement partners have undertaken a significant journey together to change the way in which the UK responds to serious and organised crime. We have come a long way and have already transformed the UK’s collective capabilities. However, the journey continues and it’s important that my successor joins at the right point in the NCA’s development.”
Bristow went on to comment: “I’m deeply proud of what we have achieved collectively, and of the men and women who have made this a reality. My policing and law enforcement career began in 1983 as a police cadet and designing, building and leading the NCA has been its highlight.”