GANGLAND: Organised crooks pose the biggest threat to national security says Javid (Home Office)
ORGANISED crime is the biggest threat to the UK and is causing the most deaths in the country than all other national security threats combined, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned.
Writing in a foreword to the National crime Agency's Annual Plan for 2019/20 published today, Mr Javid said organised criminals also affect more British citizens than any other current national security threat and are costing the UK economy at least £37 billion every year.
The plan sets out how the NCA, often dubbed Britain's FBI, will target the "escalating and rapidly evolving serious organised crime threat."
Mr Javid wrote: "Serious and organised crime affects more UK citizens, more often, than any other national security threat and leads to more deaths in the UK each year than all other national security threats combined.
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"These criminals do not discriminate against whom they harm. They target us all, from cyber-attacks on businesses to the exploitation of the most vulnerable in society, including children."
"Their activities erode our communities and our economy, costing the UK at least £37 billion every year and allowing criminals to reap the benefits of their crimes, while we, and particularly their victims, suffer the consequences.
"I am determined to prevent serious and organised crime, defend against it, track down perpetrators and bring them to justice. We will allow no safe space – online or offline – for these people and their networks."
He said Government ministers have agreed an additional £48 million should be invested into the NCA to "improve capabilities to tackle the threat from illicit finance."
Mr Javid added: "This investment is in addition to the £21 million over the next 18 months to strengthen law enforcement response to child sexual abuse and exploitation."
A NCA spokesman said: "Informed by our enhanced understanding of the evolving threat to the UK from serious and organised crime, the annual plan sets out the NCA’s operational priorities for the year ahead and how the NCA will lead a whole-system response to serious and organised crime.
"Over the last year, working with partners we have made significant progress in the fight against serious and organised crime.
"Chief among these developments was the launch of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), which has had an immediate impact in enhancing our response to economic crime, maximising the value of intelligence, prioritising threats, and tasking and coordinating resources to ensure the greatest possible impact."
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NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: "Our mission to lead the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime is critical to our national security.
"We continue to deliver some outstanding operational results and enable our partners to do likewise, ensuring the public are protected.
“The launch of the NECC has been an exciting step for us this year. Another notable success has been the capability strategy, enhancing our ability to tackle serious and organised crime in all its forms, by providing the right response to the right partner at the right time.
“We are a growing organisation and we will continue to invest in our people. By continuing to drive change internally, we will better position the agency to lead the serious organised crime system and to ensure that we have the right resources, equipment and skills to maintain our focus on tackling the most sophisticated offenders with the ability to cause the most harm."