THE UK'S LATEST SPECIALISED POLICE FORCE the National Crime Agency (NCA) has gone into business with a warning to organised criminals: watch out.
The NCA begins its work today and is a single agency for tackling organised crime, including internet and economic crimes.
It splits its work into four areas, and is presumably expert in each. Those parts are now operational, and they are: Organised Crime, Economic Crime, Border Policing and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection), and National Cyber Crime.
"The NCA is a UK-wide crime-fighting agency, which will have the capability to tackle serious and organised crime in areas that have previously had a fragmented response, such as the border, cyber and economic crime, and those where we need to increase our impact, like child protection and human trafficking," said Keith Bristow, the new director general of the National Crime Agency.
"The NCA will be at the centre of a reformed policing landscape that will co-ordinate the fight against some of the United Kingdom's most sophisticated and harmful criminals."
UK Home Secretary Theresa May said that the NCA will lead the UK's fight against the increasing reach of cyber criminals and they will have no place to hide.
"I want to make Britain a hostile environment for serious and organised criminals, with the new National Crime Agency leading that fight. For the first time we now have a single national agency harnessing intelligence to relentlessly disrupt organised criminals at home and abroad with its own warranted officers, and the power to lead officers from other law enforcement agencies in coordinating that activity," she said.
"The new National Crime Agency will mean that there will be no hiding places for human traffickers, cyber criminals and drugs barons."
The National Crime Agency will be staffed with more than 4,000 officers who will work with their peers both at home and abroad.
Earlier this year a report from the House of Commons painted a bleak picture of the UK's cyber-readiness. Then Committee chair Keith Vaz reckoned that the NCA would be ill-equipped to deal with increased crime.
"We need to establish a state of the art espionage response centre. At the moment the law enforcement response to e-criminals is fractured and half of it is not even being put into the new National Crime Agency," Vaz said. µ
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