Documents to download

Serious and organised crime (SOC) is criminal activity that is planned, coordinated and committed by people working individually, in groups, or as part of transnational networks. It usually centres on acquiring money, profit, influence and power. Sexual gratification is also a motivator in some cases. Such offences are often committed by organised crime groups (OCGs), who use violence, corruption and intimidation to protect their criminal activities.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has stated that SOC affects more UK citizens, more often, than any other national security threat. It has a daily impact on citizens, public services, businesses, institutions, national reputation and infrastructure.

In the UK, no single official or body is in overall charge of the response to SOC. Rather, there are over 100 government departments, law enforcement bodies, agencies and other organisations involved in tackling this type of crime. Operationally, the NCA leads and coordinates the UK’s response. It also publishes an annual national strategic assessment on the issue, highlighting key findings and trends.

The UK Government and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Scotland are responsible for policy, including serious and organised crime. In England and Wales, the Home Office has overall responsibility for policy, strategy and funding, including the publication of the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. In October 2019, the UK Government announced an independent review, led by Sir Craig Mackay, to support the implementation of the SOC strategy.

There is no dedicated funding stream for tackling serious and organised crime. The work is financed through several unconnected funding streams by sources that are subject to annual bidding and decision processes.

Both the National Audit Office and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee have recently looked at the UK Government’s strategic response to serious and organised crime, arguing that while there are examples of good work, “there remain some significant and avoidable shortcomings”. In addition, the director general of the National Crime Agency, Lynne Owens, has called for an increase to the amount of funding aimed at tackling serious and organised crime.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Future funding of the BBC: Lords committee report

    The BBC is principally funded through a licence fee paid by UK households; the amount is set by the government in a periodic ‘licence fee settlement’. In January 2022, the government announced a licence fee settlement that would apply from April 2022 until March 2028. It also stated that it was considering how the BBC should be funded after this period. In July 2022, the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published a report examining the future of BBC funding.

    Future funding of the BBC: Lords committee report
  • Review of the London Fire Brigade: Findings and reaction

    In November 2022, an independent cultural review of the London Fire Brigade raised several concerns about the service. This included the finding that it was “institutionally misogynist and racist”. Responding, London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe apologised for the harm caused and set out several measures aimed at addressing the core problems. This article gives an overview of the findings and sets out the reaction to the review from various groups and individuals.

    Review of the London Fire Brigade: Findings and reaction
  • Arts and creative industries: The case for a strategy

    The creative industries have been identified as a driver of economic growth and employment by the government and industry stakeholders. The government has said it will publish a ‘sector vision’, setting out its strategy for increasing growth in the creative industries sector. Initially set for publication in 2021, the sector vision has been delayed until 2023. This briefing considers recent developments in the formation of the government’s strategy for the arts and creative industries.

    Arts and creative industries: The case for a strategy