Skip to main content

National Crime Agency

Volume 558: debated on Tuesday 12 February 2013

1. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the establishment of the National Crime Agency. (142501)

Although the Attorney-General and I have frequent discussions with the Home Secretary, there have been no recent discussions on the NCA, which is created by the Crime and Courts Bill. I am currently serving on the Bill Committee.

Will the Solicitor-General join me in welcoming Gordon Meldrum, the former director-general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, as the new director of the NCA? As the Solicitor-General will know, organised crime happens across the UK, irrespective of borders. Will he outline the scale of the NCA and its budget and give the House an example of why we truly are better off together as one United Kingdom?

As the hon. Gentleman will know, this is a large and important area of the UK economy that is threatened by serious and organised crime, estimated to be £20 billion a year. It is therefore right, as he says, to have a cross-United Kingdom response. Funding for the agency is a matter for the Home Secretary. The indicative budget for the first year is £407 million.

The second most profitable crime for organised criminal gangs is human trafficking. Does the Solicitor-General agree that the establishment of the National Crime Agency will help this country fight the evil of human trafficking?

My hon. Friend has made a distinguished contribution to the all-party group that deals with this issue. He is absolutely right that we need to focus on this both at home and overseas, and that is what the National Crime Agency will be very well able to do.