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Criminal law: Government promises to toughen up on organised crime

The Government yesterday (28 July) revealed their new organised crime strategy after announcing that a record £1 billion worth of crime assets had been seized, frozen or returned during last year.

The new strategy includes roles for law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, as well as private sector specialists such as forensic accountants.

The report outlines the creation of a new National Crime Agency, coming into operation in 2013, which will replace the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

The new agency will also deal with cyber-crime, border policing and financial offences and is promised to make a "major difference".

Ministers plan to make confiscating criminal assets in the UK and abroad easier for the police by improving intelligence gathering and co-operation with international law enforcement agencies.

The use of private sector specialists will help police target "front businesses" that launder money and are set up by criminals with the help of "dodgy accountants and bent lawyers".

The report stated that around 38,000 criminals are operating in the UK within 6,000 different groups and between them they are costing the UK economy between £20-40 billion a year.

James Brokenshire, minister for crime and security, said: "Organised crime is on the increase and we have to take strong measures to disrupt it.
"For too long organised criminals have thought they can get away with it."

He added: "Part of the challenge is to ensure that we follow the cash, follow the proceeds, of those who are involved - whether it be buying property or buying fancy cars - and deny those criminals those assets."

Related links:
Read more on the story (BBC)
Find out what happens to crime assets seized by the police (FindLaw)
Find local criminal solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)