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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 25, 2004: Clamping Down On Organised Crime And New Police Powers

A radical overhaul of the way law enforcement agencies combat organised crime, and modernisation of police powers, was set out yesterday as the Home Office published the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill.

The proposals will see the creation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and new powers to secure more convictions of crime bosses as well as additional powers for community support officers (CSOs). SOCA will bring together the responsibilities which currently fall to the National Criminal Intelligence Service, the National Crime Squad, Home Office responsibilities for organised immigration crime and the investigation and intelligence responsibilities of HM Customs and Excise in tackling serious drug trafficking and recovering related criminal assets. It will be centrally funded.

Measures to tackle organised crime include:

  • Extending the Serious Fraud Office style powers that enable individuals to be compelled to answer questions in interview and produce documents on demand
  • Making it more attractive for convicted offenders to help secure the convictions of other, more serious offenders, by putting Queen’s evidence on a statutory footing and offering sentence reductions where appropriate
  • Giving judges a new power to impose strict financial reporting requirements post sentence

Sir Stephen Lander, Chair of SOCA, said:

“This is one of the biggest changes in UK law enforcement since the 1960s. The Serious Organised Crime Agency presents a real opportunity to make a difference and tackle crimes that affect every man, woman and child in this country.”

The Bill also includes new police powers to help officers tackle crime and improve community safety, with additional powers for CSOs and more effective use of police support staff, including:

  • Providing the police with the power of arrest for all offences
  • Increasing the ability of police officers to apply for and execute warrants issued by the courts enabling multiple use and targeting of offenders with multiple addresses
  • Releasing police officers for front-line duties by giving police staff greater powers, for example, to deal with traffic and tackle begging
  • Limiting chief constables’ personal liability under health and safety law
  • Improving the use of forensic material, for example by allowing roadside fingerprinting and the taking of footwear impressions

Also in the Bill are plans to extend the harassment laws aimed at animal rights activists and measures to prohibit people stirring up hatred against people because of their religious beliefs. They are:

  • making it an offence to harass two or more people who are connected, for example, employees of the same company
  • giving the police the power to arrest a person protesting outside someone’s home if they are causing harassment, alarm or distress
  • providing the police with the power to direct a protester to leave the vicinity of a home and not return for up to three months
  • introducing an offence of incitement to religious hatred
  • allowing the police to impose conditions on any person protesting outside Parliament, to protect the smooth running of Government.

The white paper One Step Ahead: A 21st Century Strategy to Defeat Organised Criminals can be downloaded here.