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Monday, 13 July 2009

Gang Activity 'Linked to Failed States' Rising in U.K.

From the BBC:

The UK has about 30,000 criminals who are members of organised crime gangs, and who cost the country up to £40bn a year, a report says.

The Home Office is planning a new strategy to tackle criminals, using tax powers to prosecute them.

And the joint Home Office and Cabinet Office report also said criminal gangs were using new technology.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said the strategy "goes further than ever before" in fighting organised crime.

The report also warned that gang violence would increase during the downturn as gangs battled for market share, and said the recession would create "new opportunities" for organised criminals.

And it also suggested there was an increasing level of co-operation between organised gangs and failed states such as Somalia.

The report includes plans for a new strategic centre within the Home Office, which would improve monitoring of efforts to tackle the problem.

And the new strategy includes plans to use tax powers to pin down elusive criminals, shutting down "front" businesses like saunas and massage parlours used for criminal ends, and seeking to block the use of mobile phones in prisons.

The strategy would also investigate the UK-based assets of overseas criminals and step up the approach to international organised crime through better co-ordination overseas.

This will target the emergence of criminal networks in weak and failing states, the Home Office said.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), set up in 2006 with the specific aim of tackling the problem, estimates there are 6,000 major criminals in the UK.

But Soca admits not all can be prosecuted for their crimes, which include drugs and people trafficking and money laundering.

As a result, ministers plan to target criminals for non-payment of tax.

A new pilot project involving officials from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Soca and Acpo will launch later this year, aimed at increasing the number of gang bosses prosecuted through tax laws.

Mr Johnson said the UK is known as a "world leader" in the fight against serious organised crime.

He also said the threat of criminal gangs "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."

But deputy chief constable Jon Murphy, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said political decisions could be behind the "gap" between the scale of the problem and the ability of law enforcement agencies to tackle it.

Mr Murphy said: "I think we all acknowledge that gap does exist. Why does it exist?

"Arguably, it could be because it's a political decision. I think equally it's because of the changing nature of criminality."

He added: "British organised crime gangs are fluid, flexible and opportunistic. There are no set ranks, rules or structures which you can see with international crime gangs.

"At the very top level, the number of 'Mr Bigs' is relatively small, and those individuals and groups associated with the most harm are subject to the highest level of enforcement and intervention."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And it also suggested there was an increasing level of co-operation between organised gangs and failed states such as Somalia.

And could that be because our idiot politicians were stupid and ignorant not to know that the Somali culture, if one can call it that, is the worst combination of nomad, highway robbery, African tribalism, and Islam.

Somalis are shunned and despised even in East Africa.