New crime fighting agency launched in Britain to tackle serious, organised crime
- POSTED: 10 Oct 2013 01:15
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A new crime fighting agency called the National Crime Agency (NCA) has been launched in Britain, bringing together several separate agencies under one roof to tackle serious and organised crime.
LONDON: A new crime fighting agency has been launched in Britain, bringing together several separate agencies under one roof to tackle serious and organised crime.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has been compared to America's FBI.
For the first time, the agency has the power to direct police forces within the UK and has promised to work closely with similar agencies overseas to tackle international criminal gangs.
The NCA will take on organised crime, economic crime, cybercrime, child exploitation and border policing.
NCA chiefs said the agency will operate according to British priorities and are stressing the need to work alongside existing police both in the UK and overseas.
David Armond, director of Border Policing Command for the NCA, said: "We've got a shared interest in combatting organised crime that affects our towns and community.
"Organised crime is a truly global threat that (not only) affects our economic systems and our countries, but also affects our streets, where our populations live, in our towns and cities."
This grouping together of existing agencies, including the child protection and online privacy service will not mean any more funding, leading opposition lawmakers to claim it is simply a rebranding exercise.
However, government ministers insist the more joined up intelligence and streamlined policing will allow the force to do more on the same budget.
The NCA will have 4,500 officers, 120 of whom will be based overseas.
While budgets will inevitably be tight, there are plans to beef up the number of officers in the South East Asia region.
Armond said: "Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, these kinds of locations, in fact some parts in Africa, are places where Western tourists travel for the purposes of exploiting children, and those are areas of work where we are working with local authorities to try to combat. “
Unlike its predecessor, the NCA promises to be much more high-profile and transparent and lead the fight on serious and organised crime.
The NCA said it is sending a powerful message to criminals that it will relentlessly pursue organised gangs not only here in Britain, but around the world.