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Government steps-up fight against organised crime

13 July 2009

The government's new strategy on serious organised crime introduces plans to create a more hostile environment for organised criminals by seizing assets and shutting business.

The strategy Extending our reach: A comprehensive approach to tackling serious organised crime outlines how the government and law enforcement agencies will use new tactics to fight organised crime.

The strategy includes plans to:

  • shut down businesses like saunas and massage parlours that are a front for criminal activity
  • seek to block mobile phone use in prisons
  • recover the assets of all organised criminals under investigation by putting ‘regional asset recovery teams’ in every part of the country
  • investigate the UK-based assets of criminals overseas
  • step up the approach to international organised crime through better coordination overseas

Multi-billion pound industry

Serious and organised crime is a multi-billion pound global business. Trafficking in drugs and people, fraud, and financial crime costs the UK economy around £30bn a year.  

The UK’s approach to fighting organised crime is one of the most sophisticated in the world. However, trends such as the economic downturn, new technologies and globalisation are creating opportunities for organised criminals that didn’t exist five years ago. 

‘Strategy goes further than ever before’

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said, ‘The UK is known by international partners as a world leader in the fight against serious organised crime. However, the threat continues to evolve and it is right that we update and strengthen our response to match it.

‘This strategy goes further than ever before in taking the fight to organised criminals– from the hard to reach criminal bosses to the lower-level players that are harming our communities.
‘We are sending a clear message to these networks they we are doing everything in our power to stop them threatening our safety, damaging our communities and subverting our economy.’

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