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.

How will we use this strategy to achieve change?

What happens next to make this real?

We will take account of the priority areas we have identified in turning the objectives in this strategy into practical activities, projects and improvements that will reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime.

When we publish progress reports we will include action plans for each of the four strands of the strategy (Divert, Deter, Detect and Disrupt) setting out what we plan to do and providing details of the projects and pilots we are undertaking. One aim is that these plans will act as a resource to assist Taskforce members and other organisations in identifying opportunities for joint working and further activity.

We will publish an annual report setting out what has been achieved and providing updates on ongoing projects.

Once a project or pilot has proved itself, we expect it to be rolled into mainstream activity and do not expect it to continue as part of the action plan. The action plans should therefore provide a snapshot of new or changing activity, rather than detailing existing work or core business.

These priorities are likely to include particular areas such as human trafficking, economic crime and child protection. Tackling such criminality requires us to utilise all aspects of the 4-D strategy to combat these threats through prevention and to work together to ensure that teams tackling specific issues such as human trafficking, child protection, consumer protection and cyber resilience also take proper account of the organised crime element. More detail on related strategies is set out in Annex A.

Other activity

We will consider if there are areas where legislative change might be required. And because legislative change takes time we will identify areas where the whole regulatory system could be brought into play. For example, we have developed guidance for public authorities on the importance of having an appropriate gifts and hospitality policy to help protect against organised crime groups exerting undue influence.

In developing new, and innovative strategies we will look at research and consider models/initiatives used in other countries. We will seek to develop/make use of new technologies to address the threat posed by serious organised crime.


We have introduced a small-scale fund to help members of the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce fund innovative projects that contribute to the objectives set out in this strategy but that are outwith the organisation's core activity. All projects funded through this will be included in the action plan for the relevant strand.

Taskforce membership

Taskforce members work with many other organisations across the public, private and third sectors in the effort against organised crime. We will keep membership of the Taskforce under review, with a view to adapting it when appropriate, but if we are to succeed we need every individual, every private sector business, every public sector organisation and every community to play their part.

For some suggestions on how you can contribute, see 'What can you do?'

Communication and awareness-raising

Communication and awareness-raising remain essential to delivering the safer, fairer, more prosperous Scotland, free from the harm caused by serious organised crime, which we all want to see.

People cannot protect themselves or their families from serious organised crime if they don't know enough about how it operates. Organisations need to understand this in order to assess where they are most vulnerable. We will publicise case studies and success stories as examples of good practice for others to draw on.

As well as educating potential victims, awareness raising activities have a part to play in terms of de-glamourising serious organised crime and deterring people from becoming involved in the first place. The Serious Organised Crime Taskforce Communications subgroup continues work to address this. The Scottish Government has previously published a serious organised crime communications evidence review. This contains a toolkit for communicators and is available at Serious organised crime: communications evidence review - (



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