What have we achieved since the first strategy in 2009?
The timeline on the next page shows some of the major structural changes and legislative improvements that have happened since "Letting Our Communities Flourish" was published in 2009, including the creation of Police Scotland in 2013, the opening of the Scottish Crime Campus in 2014 and the range of legislative provisions relating to Serious Organised Crime which will come into effect later this year.
There have been many other developments, changes and achievements since 2009. Perhaps the most important of these are the improvements in multi-agency working. These range from joint operations by Police Scotland, the National Crime Agency, HMRC and others against specific Crime Groups through to closer co-operation between local authorities, regulators and police divisions to prevent Serious Organised Crime Groups accessing licences or competing for public contracts.
The Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh is both the most powerful symbol of these developments and an opportunity for further improvement. Funded by the Scottish Government and opened in 2014, the Crime Campus houses staff from all of the main law enforcement agencies operating in Scotland, as well as state-of-the-art forensics laboratories and staff from an increasing number of regulators including SEPA and the Security Industry Authority. Co-location of these organisations has already generated significant benefits around information-sharing, communication and joint resourcing. We will look to derive even greater benefits in the years ahead.
There have also been improvements in the gathering and sharing of intelligence and in work to analyse and map the threat posed by Serious Organised Crime Groups in Scotland, all with the goal of supporting more sophisticated detection and disruption of these groups.
The case studies later in this document provide examples of specific operations, initiatives and achievements.
None of this could have been delivered without the hard work and dedication of many different organisations and individuals. The challenge now is to involve more organisations and more individuals in further steps to reduce the harm caused by Serious Organised Crime.
Changes in threats and crime types since 2009
- At the same time as the response to Serious Organised Crime
has changed significantly since 2009, so too has the nature of
the threats. In particular, there have been substantial increases
- cybercrime: cyber-enabled crime - traditional crimes increased in scale or reach by the use of ICT ( e.g. fraud) and cyber-dependent crime - offences that can be committed using only ICT ( e.g. malicious software, hacking).
- human trafficking.
- There have been decreases in other areas ( e.g. armed robbery; SOC-related homicides).
- There have also been changes in the legitimate business sectors that Serious Organised Crime Groups have tried to infiltrate ( e.g. the waste industry).
- Work is under way to clarify the extent to which Serious
Organised Crime Groups are currently involved in:
- child sexual exploitation.
- the distribution and sale of New Psychoactive Substances.
What has changed since the first strategy in 2009?