National Crime Agency
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Analysis of serious and organised crime threats

The National Crime Agency has published the most comprehensive public-facing analysis to date of the serious and organised crime threats affecting the UK. 

The National Strategic Assessment (NSA) draws together knowledge from across the whole law enforcement community. It provides an objective picture of serious organised crime threats, enabling UK law enforcement as a whole to prioritise, coordinate and target the response.

Key themes in the 2014 assessment include:

  • The growth of online streaming of real-time child sexual abuse
  • An anticipated growth in the targeted compromise by cyber criminals of UK networked systems, including more ransomware attacks and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks
  • The threat to the UK economy from money laundering
  • A likely increase in the supply of heroin from Afghanistan, the processing/production of amphetamine in the UK, and the supply of new psychoactive substances
  • An increase in the criminal exploitation of the legitimate supply of firearms.

The NSA is presented in two sections:

  • The first section identifies and assesses the scale and nature of serious and organised crime in the UK in terms of criminals, their impact on victims, and five cross-cutting issues they exploit: cyber, borders, corruption, money laundering / criminal finance, and identify theft / fraud.
  • The second section assesses the identified threats and how those are likely to develop over the next 1-3 years, including: child sexual exploitation, criminal use of firearms, cyber crime, drug trafficking, economic crime, human trafficking (including modern slavery) and people smuggling, organised acquisitive crime, and the threats posed by serious and organised criminals in prison and under lifetime management.

NCA Director General Keith Bristow said:

“To relentlessly disrupt serious and organised crime as effectively as possible we need to take informed decisions about how law enforcement coordinates and targets its resources. The National Strategic Assessment provides us with the baseline for doing that. 

“This assessment, which is the first one published by the NCA, is the most detailed and broad-ranging crime threat analysis ever produced by law enforcement. 

“Importantly, because of the way the NCA has been set up to lead and coordinate the UK response to serious and organised crime, this is also the first time that the shared threat assessment fits within a national framework, fundamentally connecting our strategic understanding of the threats with a UK-wide tactical response to them. 

“The assessment, and the response to it, is owned by the whole of law enforcement, including police forces and other national agencies, as well as Whitehall departments, local government, industry partners and the third sector.

“It helps us maximise our collective impact in order to cut serious and organised crime.” 

Download the National Strategic Assessment 2014

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