My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (John Reid) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I have today published a consultation paper, New Powers for Organised and Financial Crime, which will make the UK the least desirable place for organised criminals to operate.
The proposals build on the plans set out in March 2004 in the Government's White Paper One Step Ahead: A 21st Century Strategy to Defeat Organised Crime. Those plans have been brought into being by the passing of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and the establishment of the Serious Organised Crime Agency from April this year. The proposals on which we are now consulting would:
improve data-sharing within the public sector and between the public and the private sectors to help prevent crime;
introduce new offences of encouraging or assisting a criminal act to strengthen the current law and make it easier to bring to justice those involved in the margins of organised crime;
establish a new civil crime prevention order to prevent organised criminal activity by individuals or organisations by imposing conditions on them; and
strengthen the working of proceeds of crime legislation.
We believe that these additional measures would provide important new means for tackling organised criminality still more effectively.
Copies of the consultation document are available in the Library and on the Home Office website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk. We should be glad to receive views by 17 October 2006.