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National Crime Agency (Inspection)

Volume 594: debated on Thursday 12 March 2015

The National Crime Agency was established to lead the fight to cut serious and organised crime, and to focus on the relentless disruption of serious and organised criminals. It has the power to task other law enforcement and a capability that reaches from local to international serious and organised crime impacting on the UK.

Last year, HMIC carried out a review into the efficiency and effectiveness of the NCA. This is the first such inspection of the NCA since its creation. I have placed a copy of the report in the Library of the House. I have asked HMIC to publish this report on my behalf and it is available online at:

The inspection took place in summer 2014 and it provides a valuable snapshot of the NCA’s development as an organisation. HMIC finds that the NCA is discharging its statutory functions, and that work is under way to further strengthen its capabilities. HMIC found that the NCA inherited weaknesses in its information technology, analytical capability and relationships with police from its precursor agencies. But HMIC is satisfied that, at the time of the inspection, significant work was already under way to improve this position and that considerable improvement has already been made to key partner relationships including those with police forces. Seen against this background, the report concludes that the NCA has made a strong start since its establishment in 2013 and that its leadership understands the capabilities the NCA needs to develop, has good plans in place to develop them and is on a trajectory to achieve its aims.

HMIC identifies that the successful delivery of Novo—the NCA’s ambitious transformation programme—will be key in ensuring the NCA continues to develop into an agency fit to tackle the evolving and future threat from serious and organised crime. Over the next three years this programme will give the agency the shape, culture, operating model and approach to further improve its ability to tackle serious and organised crime.

The report notes a number of areas for improvement —where the NCA already has action under way to improve its capabilities and effectiveness—and makes five recommendations. It is for the Director General to respond to these recommendations, in line with the requirements of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.