Welcome to SOCEX 2018, my first as the NPCC Programme Lead for Serious & Organised Crime.
There are many and varied clichés about the scale and impact of serious and organised crime. What we all know, is that it is multi-faceted, multi-generational and is a truly wicked problem impacting in all of our local communities in one form or another. It is often the innovation of the criminal that limits the threat and with ever increasing advancements in technology within society so the opportunities to commit crime are similarly enhanced, with the criminals achieving higher profit margins by exploiting the vulnerable either through direct victimisation or utilisation in the commission of a crime.
The aim of this year’s conference is to look at tackling the threat from serious and organised crime through a slightly different lens. As a starting point firmly establishing what the threat is, including some of the new technological threats such as drones and the sophistication of criminal operations at an international level that ultimately have a local bearing. Evidence within the National Security Capability Review has suggested that across the multi-agency platform the recorded interventions are higher than they have ever been and yet the threat is similarly at a level, which is higher than ever before, leading to serious and organised crime now being ranked alongside counter terrorism as a national threat. Admittedly this is because we are getting a better understanding, and this work must continue, through the maturity of relationships across law enforcement and the wider partnerships. At the same time we also need to start thinking about how we turn the proverbial tap off and start to break the cycle. The pioneering work of partners such as Everton Football Club, which you will hear about at the close of day one, should be seen as the catalyst for that work to be developed across the country.
I hope you can come along and enjoy the conference but also treat it as an opportunity to reflect and discuss, so that you go away with a focussed intention to maximise the contribution of your agency towards tackling the threat from serious and organised crime.
Andy Cooke QPM