Business Crime Solicitor outlines that in a paper released by the Home Office “Serious and Organised Crime”, the Government stated its intention that the Home Office would take control of all anti-corruption policy as part of the introduction of the new National Crime Agency (“NCA”).
The publication notes that serious and organised crime is a threat to UK national security and costs the UK more than £24 billion each year.
It also describes the existing anti-corruption regime as fragmented and hampered by the lack of intelligence sharing between the agencies.
The Home Office will now coordinate all domestic Bribery & Corruption policy, working with the Cabinet Office and the Department for International Development to align with work on overseas corruption.
The NCA’s Economic Crime Command (“ECC”) has its own investigators but s also intended to be a channel for better communication between the various enforcement agencies including the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority.
How effectively this will work in practice remains to be seen. Historically there has been tension between UK enforcement agencies given responsibility for tackling the same criminal behaviour. In particular it will be of interest to see how the SFO fits into the NCA scheme and whether these changes now announced by the Home Office may yet again call into question the SFO’s long term viability.
For further information contact Shula de Jersey in London or Craig McAdam in Manchester.