FORMAL REVIEW OF SERIOUS ORGANISED CRIME

The Government has announced a formal review of Serious Organised Crime. It will be led by Sir Craig Mackey, a former deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police force and report in the Spring.

Serious Organised Crime includes county lines, human trafficking and drugs.

The review will look at the powers, capabilities, governance and funding of the response to serious organised crime on the part of the National Crime Agency, the police and regional organised crime units.

The NCA has estimated that there are 4,500 serious crime gangs in the UK costing the economy £37billion.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I welcome this review and believe it is long overdue.

“It has taken the Government a long time to realise that the years of austerity – when police officer numbers were savagely cutback- gave the criminal gangs opportunities to expand their activity.

“The discovery of 39 people dead in a refrigerated lorry is just the most recent and shocking example of the way the modern crime gangs will ruthlessly exploit vulnerable people.

“I welcome the fact that the review recognises that organised crime crosses boundaries at every level – local, regional and national – and we must ensure that the response is able to deal with this.

“South Yorkshire Police has a good record of dealing with organised crime gangs and is very proactive targeting and disrupting their activities.

“However, it is not enough to tackle the gangs after the event.  We need more and more to get upstream of crime and prevent people being drawn into gangs in the first place. This is what our newly-established Violence Reduction Unit will help us to do.”