The Queen's Speech: National crime agency unveiled to protect UK's borders
Wednesday 09 May 2012
A US-style National Crime Agency to tackle serious and organised crime and protect the UK's borders will be enshrined in laws unveiled by the Queen today.
The agency has already been announced as a replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), which itself was heralded as "Britain's FBI" when it was launched by Labour in 2006.
A Crime and Courts Bill will establish the NCA to tackle serious, organised and complex crime, enhance border security, and tackle the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and cyber crime.
The NCA, headed by former Warwickshire Police chief constable Keith Bristow, will also take in the work of the National Missing Persons Bureau.
The Government is considering whether the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority should be merged into the new agency.
Critics have warned the NCA will be too large to be effective.
The Government has said too many of the 38,000 individuals and 6,000 gangs involved in organised crime, which costs the UK up to £40 billion a year, have escaped justice.
But Labour sources said the agency was "fundamentally a reorganisation of Soca" and added they were concerned that the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) was being scrapped.
They said: "According to documents from Her Majesty's Inspectorate, the maintenance and delivery of the police national computer will pass to the NCA - suggesting that rather than crime-fighting, it will have an increased administrative role previously delivered by the NPIA.
"Chief constables are very concerned that scrapping bodies like the NPIA will mean losing focus on crime-fighting and worrying about the delivery of training, IT and other services instead.
"And the Home Secretary (Theresa May) has refused in parliamentary questions to confirm the budget for the NCA. With the loss of 16,000 officers, further cuts to the reorganised body will only undermine it even further."
The sources added: "Re-announcing, for the third time, a reorganisation of our country's organised crime agency is not going to cut it for the public who are worried about the loss of their local bobbies on the beat."
The Bill will strengthen powers of UK Border Force officers and introduce the offence of drug-driving.
Powers will also be brought in to enable magistrates to dispense summary neighbourhood justice and the system for paying fines will be changed so offenders, not taxpayers, incur the cost of delaying payment.
Courts will also be reformed, enabling judges to move between courts more efficiently and allowing television cameras into courtrooms to help demystify the justice system.
The Bill will also reform judicial appointments to improve transparency and diversity.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now'
4Chan 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to be published
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: 'These are completely fake' say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...