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Serious organised crime

Serious organised crime is about generating wealth at the expense of other people. It includes drug-dealing, counterfeit goods, money laundering, human trafficking and cyber crime.

Our refreshed serious organised crime strategy, published in 2022, aims to reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime by ensuring that all partner bodies work together.

It focuses on four key objectives:

  • divert: to divert people from becoming involved in serious organised crime and using its products
  • deter: to deter serious organised crime groups by supporting private, public and third sector organisations to protect themselves and each other
  • detect: to identify, detect and prosecute those involved in serious organised crime
  • disrupt: to disrupt serious organised crime groups

We publish an annual report on progress.

What we are doing:


  • have given the police additional powers to seize criminal assets through the Criminal Finances Act 2017, including betting slips, casino chips, jewellery and precious stones
  • set up the Scottish Crime Campus where the main law enforcement bodies are working together to tackle serious organised crime
  • are taking action to punish and prevent human trafficking
  • are working to increase our cyber resilience and prevent cyber crime
  • are investing money seized from criminals into community projects aimed at diverting young people away from getting involved in serious crime groups, through the CashBack for Communities scheme

Serious Organised Crime Taskforce

The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, oversees the work being carried out to reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime in Scotland.

The tackling serious organised crime blog provides updates on work being done by taskforce partners.


We have commissioned a number of research reports into serious organised crime:

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