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Serious and Organised Crime Strategy

Volume 742: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2023

As Home Secretary, my first priority is to keep the public safe. Today I have published a new and updated serious and organised crime strategy. The strategy has been laid before Parliament as a Command Paper (CP 992) and copies are available in the Vote Office and on

Serious and organised crime is a major threat to the national security and prosperity of the United Kingdom. It costs lives, blights communities, hampers economic growth, causes financial loss to individuals, businesses and the state, and corrodes the global reputation of the UK and its institutions.

Since the publication of the previous strategy in 2018, we have invested in strengthening the National Crime Agency (NCA) and policing capabilities, built new comprehensive plans and strategies for dealing with illegal drugs, economic crime, fraud, child sexual abuse and other types of crime, and introduced new powers for law enforcement agencies to respond to the threat posed by organised criminal groups. However, it was a five-year strategy and it is right that we now update our response to reflect changing threats and emerging challenges.

This new strategy sets out our mission to reduce serious and organised crime in the UK by disrupting and dismantling the organised crime groups operating in and against the UK through a comprehensive and end-to-end response to ensure there is no place for serious and organised criminals to hide. The strategy aims to reduce serious and organised crime in the UK through five lines of action:

In-country: We will disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups operating in and against the UK. We will also build resilience in local communities, deter and divert individuals, design out crime and raise barriers online.

UK Border: Strengthening the UK border, including disrupting the exploitative business model of the criminal groups involved in organised immigration crime.

International: Relentless disruption at source of international organised criminals operating against the UK; improving international information and intelligence sharing; and reducing the global drivers.

Technology and capabilities: Ensuring the best intelligence and data collection, analysis and investigative capabilities are in place to identify and disrupt organised criminals.

Multi-agency response: Ensuring all public and private sector partners are working together as effectively as possible with the right capacity, skills, structures and tasking processes.

To support delivery of the new strategy, we are bringing forward legislation in the Criminal Justice Bill, introducing new criminal offences for the possession, importing, manufacturing, adapting, supply and intending to supply specific articles for use in serious crime—vehicle concealments, templates used to print 3D firearm components and pill presses. We will also strengthen serious crime prevention orders to make it easier for police and other law enforcement agencies to place restrictions on suspected offenders.

We will strengthen the UK border and enhance disruptive activity against the organised immigration crime groups who enable people to enter the UK illegally, increasingly through dangerous small boat crossings in the channel. This includes doubling our funding to increase the multi-agency intelligence and investigative response in 2023-24 and 2024-25.

We will continue to roll out “Clear, Hold, Build”, the local policing and partnership response to serious and organised crime, expanding it to every territorial police force by spring 2024 to reduce crime and build community resilience in hotspot areas in a sustainable way.

The Government are also introducing new measures to support closer collaboration between the NCA and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to tackle serious and complex fraud and corruption. We will amend the Crime and Courts Act 2013 to allow the director general of the NCA to direct the director of the SFO on matters relating to the investigation of suspected incidents of serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption, in the same way that the NCA has power to direct the police in relation to serious and organised crime.

The new strategy will refocus efforts in response to new and emerging challenges, including the growth in online crime and the exploitative business model of people smugglers. It brings together extensive work across Government, ensuring all capabilities available to the UK intelligence community, the NCA, policing and at the border are fully focused on disrupting and dismantling organised criminals.