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Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to be abolished

The Crime and Courts Act 2013 was given Royal Assent on 25 April 2013.  As per section 15(1) of the Act, the serious Organised Crime Agency (sOCA) is to be abolished.  It will be replaced by a National Crime Agency created by virtue of section 1(1) of the Act.

sOCA, described as ˜Britains FBI was established on 1 April 2006 by a merger of the National Crime squad, National Criminal Intelligence service and the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.  The Assets Recovery Agency merged with sOCA in 2008.

sOCAs purpose was to investigate organised crime at a national level, particularly drug cartels, human trafficking, gun crime, fraud and money laundering.  Following the merger with the ARA, it also pursued asset recovery via civil recovery proceedings, confiscation orders following conviction, and cash seizure and forfeiture applications.

Following the 2010 general election, the new Government announced plans for sOCAs abolition as part of a package of reforms to policing including the creation of an even larger, National Crime Agency, which is to bring yet more investigative agencies under the single umbrella.  It is expected that the NCA will be launched on 1 October 2013.  Keith Bristow, the current Chief of Warwickshire Police will head the organisation.


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