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Call for closer working

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Police and councils need to work together more closely than ever against serious and organised crime, the Home Office Security Minister Ben Wallace said in a March 16 speech.

Speaking to an audience of law enforcement and public and private sector at the Home Office’s Serious and Organised Crime Conference in Birmingham, he said officers needed to share more intelligence with local government to tackle crime.

Multi-agency partnerships around the country could help to dismantle serious and organised crime groups, with joint working already taking place between local authorities, police forces and sectors within the Government Agency Intelligence Network, such as HMRC and the Environment Agency, he said. But he called for the level of information sharing and collaboration to be taken to new heights.

Ben Wallace said: “We know that crime bosses will look to exploit any avenue that they can tap into in order to make massive profits or launder their dirty money. Our own research indicates organised crime groups are now looking to benefit from public sector contracts and we must do everything possible to clamp down on this abuse. That’s why I’m asking each police force around the country to work more closely than ever with local authorities and other important partners in their patch – sharing information on known crime groups, identifying attempts to profit from public sector contracts and closing down bogus suppliers.”

A recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found among other shortcomings that some police forces were not formally classifying gangs of violent and dangerous criminals. HMIC said that it was concerned that there is no coherent national picture of threat posed to communities by organised crime groups. Decisive action needs to be taken to address this, the inspectorate added.


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