National Crime Agency publishes 2017 analysis of serious and organised crime threats

The National Crime Agency has published its fourth annual public analysis of the nature and scale of serious and organised crime affecting the UK. The 2017 National Strategic Assessment has been put together using knowledge from across UK law enforcement, Government departments and the intelligence community.

For the first time, the threats have been categorised into three broad headings: Vulnerability (including child sexual exploitation and abuse, modern slavery and human trafficking and organised immigration crime), Prosperity (encompassing cyber crime, money laundering and other economic crime) and Commodity (including the illicit trade in firearms and drugs).

Observations from the 2017 assessment include the following key points:

*the exploitation of both general maritime and general aviation for organised immigration crime as well as commodity smuggling

*the scale of modern slavery and human trafficking is increasing steadily and the threat is growing

*corruption is becoming a key vulnerability, with corrupt workers at ports, airports and in the logistics sector facilitating breaches of border control and corrupt individuals working in the financial and legal sectors facilitating money laundering and fraud

*the rise of The Dark Web as an international marketplace for firearms and drugs

*the continued rise of social media opportunities for offenders driving an increase in the volume of child sexual exploitation referrals to law enforcement

The NCA’s deputy director general Matthew Horne said: “The NCA has a pivotal role to play in leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. This assessment provides both ourselves and our policing and law enforcement partners with a sound understanding of the threats we face.

Horne continued: “What’s striking from this year’s assessment are the themes running through the crime types. Organised criminal networks are using online methods to defraud and extort, but also to facilitate the abuse of children and advertise the victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. Similarly, the threat from corruption encompasses a huge range of sectors and professional enablers, from bank insiders and accountants involved in high-end money laundering through to port workers and delivery drivers facilitating drug trafficking.

In addition, Horne stated: “
Criminal networks themselves are diversifying and it’s not uncommon to find the same groups involved in trafficking people or illicit commodities and using the same methods or infrastructure.

Horne concluded: 
“These threats don’t exist in silos, and neither should our response. The National Strategic Assessment shows us how important a ‘whole system’ approach towards UK national security has become, with the NCA and its partners maximising the collective impact by working together to keep the public safe.”

*The full National Strategic Assessment is available to view at:

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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