Serious Organised Crime strategy

The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce Strategy seeks to close the potential gap between intelligence and tasking through the better use of threat assessments and aims to reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime by ensuring that all partner bodies work together.

What is our vision and aim?

Vision: A safer, fairer and more prosperous country free from the harm caused by serious organised crime.


We will deliver this aim by focusing on four 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

Aim: To reduce serious organised crime and the harm it causes.

Contribution to national outcomes

Reducing the harm caused by serious organised crime will contribute to many of the national outcomes in the Scottish Government's national performance framework including:

  • Children and young people - we grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential
  • Communities - we live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • International - we are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally

There has been considerable change in the global landscape since the Serious Organised Crime Strategy was last updated, including the UK vote in 2016 to leave the European Union and the COVID-19 pandemic. On the domestic front, a range of legislative provisions relating to serious organised crime have come into effect including amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA)[1], the commencement of provisions in the Serious Crime Act 2015[2] and the passing of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015.

While it is clear that the existing vision, aim and objectives set out above remain current and that the 'four Ds' - Divert, Deter, Detect and Disrupt - are useful, relevant and clearly understood, this refreshed strategy reflects those changing landscapes and operational results. In particular, the use of the Scottish Multi-Agency Strategic Threat Assessment (SMASTA) will allow us to focus on serious organised crime prevention in a way that is informed by analysis of the threat and should allow us all to respond more quickly and flexibly to assessments of changing threats. This is the first stage in a longer programme of work to ensure that our collective response to organised crime remains current.

In doing so, it is important that we raise awareness of the harm done by organised criminals to our communities. The greatest benefits will be achieved when organisations both within and outwith Scotland can pool resources, including information and intelligence, to tackle specific threats.



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