Threat to UK from serious and organised crime is

‘chronic and corrosive’ says NCA Director General

The Head of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens has described the threat from serious and organised crime in the UK as ‘chronic and corrosive.’

Speaking in the 2020 NCA annual report, Lynne Owens said that criminals are using new technologies to find different ways to identify victims, exploit the vulnerable and hide both their identities and the proceeds of their crime.

‘It has never been clearer that serious and organised crime is an international threat that transcends boundaries and borders,’ she said.


The annual report looks at how the NCA is tackling the on-going criminal threat. One of these ways is to develop a National Data Exploitation Capability (NDEC).

Through its innovative use of machine learning and artificial intelligence it is reducing the time taken to ingest, process and exploit data leading to faster identification of high-risk offenders and swifter interventions to protect victims and communities from harm. The NCA has also recruited a further thousand officers in the fight against serious and organised crime.


Looking back over the year, Mrs Owens said the NCA’s work had let to a thousand arrests, the highest annual total recorded by the NCA to date.

Over the past year, NCA activity has led to the seizure of 685 firearms in the UK and abroad, the arrest of 192 of the most heinous child sex offenders, and the safeguarding of over 230 potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

There has been a 34 per cent increase in recorded disruptions, worldwide seizures of 95 tonnes of cocaine, and almost £160 million of criminal assets frozen or seized.

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