How the NCA will operate

The creation of the National Crime Agency (NCA) marks a significant shift in the UK's approach to tackling serious, organised and complex crime, with an emphasis on greater collaboration across the whole law enforcement landscape.

The NCA will build effective two-way relationships with police forces, law enforcement agencies and other partners.

The NCA will be made up of four commands:

  • the Organised Crime Command will target organised crime groups operating across local, national and international borders. The command will work with police forces and other agencies to ensure that prioritised and appropriate action is taken against every organised crime group identified
  • the Border Policing Command will ensure that all law enforcement agencies operating in and around the border work to clear, mutually-agreed priorities, ensuring illegal goods are seized, illegal immigrants are dealt with and networks of organised criminals are targeted and disrupted, both overseas and at ports up and down the UK
  • the Economic Crime Command will provide an innovative and improved capability to deal with fraud and economic crimes, including those carried out by organised criminals
  • the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre will work with industry, government, children’s charities and law enforcement to protect children from sexual abuse and bring offenders to account

All four commands will also benefit from:

  • an intelligence hub, which will build and maintain a comprehensive picture of the threats to the UK from organised criminality
  • a national cyber crime centre, providing expertise, support, intelligence and guidance to police forces and the commands of the NCA

Leadership and governance

The NCA will be led by a Director General who is directly accountable to the Home Secretary and, through her, to Parliament.

Keith Bristow QPM took up the post of first NCA Director General in December 2011.

Speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee in January 2012, the new Director General said he wanted the NCA to be an organisation 'that the public can be proud to be protected by'.

'The organisation that will confront some of the most risky and dangerous people that affect our communities will be one that is unequivocally focused on keeping the public safe.

'We will go after those people ... and we will do that with the full support of the law enforcement and intelligence community.

'We will do that relentlessly, we will be focused, we will bring them to justice, but equally we will take their assets off them, we will disrupt their behaviour. This is not about detection rates. It is about dealing with very dangerous people and stopping them from harming the public, and cutting crime, very clearly cutting and reducing crime.'

Read more of Keith Bristow's evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 17 January 2012.

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