What can you do?
For some organisations, addressing serious organised crime is a clear part of their remit. These include Police Scotland, COPFS, HMRC, the National Crime Agency, the Scottish Prison Service, the Civil Recovery Unit and parts of the third sector and the Scottish Government, but there is a lot that we can all do:
Individuals – You can protect yourselves from cyber threats (with anti-virus software on phones, tablets and PCs, strong passwords etc), report concerns, help vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to be safe from scams or other forms of exploitation, avoid buying counterfeit goods or other products of serious organised crime.
Communities – can support people at risk of becoming involved in serious organised crime, work with law enforcement agencies, local authorities and regulators to discourage and deter the selling of the products of serious organised crime, promote positive alternatives to serious organised crime in terms of employment, businesses, products and values. While there are many underlying causes of problems within our communities, tackling these problems successfully will require a range of community interventions including individual willingness to take action through whistleblowing campaigns, Crimestoppers and other initiatives such as See Something, Say Something.
Businesses – You can protect yourselves from cyber threats, vet your staff, report concerns, keep informed about current threats, put plans and processes in place to protect against fraud, corruption, money laundering etc.
Businesses involved in banking and financial services can train staff to recognise signs of money-laundering and fraudulent activity, report suspicious activity to law enforcement agencies, support your customers in protecting themselves.
Local authorities and other public bodies – You can protect yourselves from cyber threats, vet your staff, use the local authority serious organised crime self-assessment checklist, put in place robust procurement processes to protect against corruption, use your regulatory and licensing powers to disrupt and deter serious organised crime groups, share information and intelligence with law enforcement agencies, listen to your communities and strengthen community participation, work through schools to educate children and young people about drugs and counterfeit goods, work together to support young people on the cusp of serious organised crime into education, employment or training.
Elected representatives (Councillors, MSPs and MPs) – You can work with your officials to put in place and apply robust procurement and licensing processes, make reducing the harm caused by serious organised crime a priority, use your links with local communities to contribute to detecting, disrupting and deterring serious organised crime.
Third sector organisations – You can contribute to diverting people from serious organised crime and its products and promoting positive alternatives, protect yourselves from cyber threats and fraud, contribute to stronger, more resilient communities.
Human trafficking victims have been identified across all local authorities in Scotland.
This issue is not just confined to specific areas – it is happening in communities across the country. We all have a part to play in keeping an eye out for possible victims. You can find out more on the Scottish Government human trafficking website or in our factsheet Spotting the signs of HT
Serious organised crime affects us all and we can all play a part in reducing the harm it causes. If you see something, say something using the contact details at the back of this document (Annex C)
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