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NCA News - December 2015
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In this issue...

NCA and local forces working in partnership on an operation

Strong partnership working helps dismantle criminal organised crime group in Merseyside


Strong partnership working between the NCA and local forces in the Northwest has been the key to the success of a recent operation. The activity targeted a Merseyside based organised criminal group involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.  

To date Operation Proal’s joint activity has lead to 16 arrests, the confiscation of £130,000 in laundered cash, and the seizure of over 15 kilograms of Class A drugs and over 200 kilograms of bulking agents. Led by the NCA’s Investigations team based in the Northwest, the operation is a great example of how collaborative working between law enforcement partners can help get organised crime groups off the streets.
 
During the initial stages of the investigation, the NCA’s Investigations team enlisted the help of specialist internal teams to support with intelligence gathering.  The Technical Operations team installed communication equipment to help capture audio intelligence for evidence purposes.  The expertise of the Covert Monitoring Unit was drawn upon to pull together and assess the best evidence to help inform the tactical approach.  
 
Local law enforcement partners, including Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside police forces were engaged early on to assist in providing vital operational support.  The forces’ support on the ground played a key role, putting in to action the evidence acquired by the NCA, to arrest suspects and seize drug and money assets. 
 
Lead investigating officer Jez Hope says, “Joint working with partners internally and externally was crucial to dismantling this criminal group.  Thanks are particularly due to the local police forces that supported our work, taking action on the ground to help us achieve these great results together.” 

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Did you know about the harm caused by cocaine production?
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How to make cocaine
'How to make cocaine' from the NCA's #EveryLineCounts campaign illustrates the harsh reality of cocaine production.
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The NCA's Director General, Keith Bristow, will retire in early 2016.

Thank you and farewell from Keith Bristow

 
The NCA’s Director General, Keith Bristow, will retire from law enforcement in early 2016. Keith was appointed in October 2011 to oversee the creation of the NCA and, following its launch in 2013, led the organisation in its mission to cut serious and organised crime in the UK. 

“Over my time as Director General, I have been incredibly proud of the work that we – the NCA’s officers - do to protect the public day in and day out. I am equally proud of the fact that we do not do it alone.  Partnerships are fundamental to the NCA’s ability to pursue criminals and protect the public effectively. Robust partnerships are the basis of how we operate and it is through these that we achieve results.
 
To successfully cut serious and organised crime, the agency works closely and effectively with members of the public, private and voluntary sectors and with law enforcement locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. By working together we enable better use of collective resources and expertise and ensure the highest threats are subject to an appropriate operational response.  The UK’s law enforcement agencies and other partners are joined up as they never have been before and we are increasingly seeing the benefits.
 
It has been an immense honour to do this job and to work alongside so many organisations committed to the same mission. Thank you for your support and continued efforts to protect the public.”
 
Lynne Owens, currently Chief Constable of Surrey Police, will take up the post of Director General following Keith’s retirement early in the new year.

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The Field Engineering Team in action on a communication tower

Field Engineering Team soars to great heights to support forces


The Field Engineering Team (FET) has earned an impressive reputation over several years with key partners for delivering a niche capability. As far back as 2010 they supported the Raoul Moat manhunt; in 2011 they deployed for the Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall wedding where Edinburgh required improved air-to-ground links to better police the event; and in 2012 the FET were busy installing air to ground video links for various police forces in preparation for the Olympics. 

The team were formed in 2009 to help address the spiralling costs and inherent delays associated with relying on contractors to maintain the infrastructure of antennas and microwave dishes that increasingly support UK policing requirements. The FET have developed their expertise to meet changes in technology, and can now install, connect, commission and maintain live and development systems end to end, often at heights up to 100m, bringing operational and financial efficiencies.

Recently the team were approached by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to assist with the 2015 Conservative Party Conference. The FET mounted a number of microwave links on high rooftops and radio towers to deliver IP data and imagery into GMP’s Force HQ.

GMP’s technical lead officer wrote “I’d like to express my gratitude and thanks to your team who provided time and support to the project which has helped deliver what ended up playing a crucial role in the delivery of the technical solution to support the conference”.

With so many police forces having to cut their technical capability, the FET now assists forces and other agencies virtually every week. 

Police forces can request assistance from the FET by contacting: communication@nca.x.gsi.gov.uk
 
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An example of the commemorative NCA coin awarded to those recognised at the ceremony

Excellence and partnership recognised at the Director General's awards ceremony


The courage and professionalism of the NCA’s officers and a series of outstanding operational successes were celebrated at the first Director General’s annual commendation ceremony earlier this month. 

Several teams and individuals were recognised for their efforts at the highest levels.  Cases including the Operation Voicer and Operation Pallial child sexual abuse investigations plus Operation Massive – which targeted drugs importers – were singled out for awards.

NCA officers work closely with policing and other law enforcement agencies nationally and internationally and a consistent theme of the awards was the great collaborative approach displayed by those celebrated at the ceremony.

Four individuals were also honoured: Simon Gower, human trafficking investigator; Alex H., cyber crime specialist; Matthew Long, child sexual exploitation lead and an officer who came under fire from a gunman while on armed surveillance. The officer was highly commended for his bravery by the trial judge, who said,

“He displayed all that is most creditable of police officers whom we trust to put their own safety on the back seat for the protection of the public.  He acted with courage and resolve – literally in the face of live rounds being fired at him.”

Lord Paul Condon who served as Met Commissioner for seven years until his retirement in 2000 told those receiving awards: “This ceremony is a reminder that there is still amazing work being done in the law enforcement community despite the world moving on from my era.”
 
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Project Opus

Enhancing the response - tackling Online Child Sexual Exploitation

Project Opus, led by the NCA’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command is delivering new capabilities and resources to enhance and expand the agency’s response to tackling Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE) alongside other UK law enforcement partners. 

The project was set up following the #WeProtect 2014 summit where the UK PM announced £10m for this work, as part of a series of responses to tackling a threat area that had growth in size and complexity. The summit, which first took place in December 2014, is a global initiative where countries and  leading technology companies gather to discuss issues around tackling OCSE .
 
#WeProtect 2015 took place in Abu Dhabi in November 2015 where the CEOP Command shared information on the progress of Opus and the increased capability being introduced, demonstrating to domestic and international counterparts how the additional funding is being used. 
 
Want to know more about the NCA’s CSE work or Project Opus? Contact: communication@nca.x.gsi.gov.uk
 
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Infographic detailing the NCA's activity in 2014/15 to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation
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Direct from Colombia: 2.4 tonnes of cocaine seized in the English Channel
Huge haul seized as part of a joint operation involving NCA and French authorities


Appeal launched for £46 million of criminal assets
Pilot launched to help trace assets of 15 convicted criminals


Most wanted fugitive sentenced over three-tonne cocaine plot
Anthony Dennis sentenced to 13 years 4 months for his role in a major international drug smuggling operation
 


The NCA is at the forefront of the UK’s fight against a wide-range of serious crime threats, such as human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, firearms, drugs and cyber crime. As an NCA officer you can make a difference.

We are currently recruiting:
  • a Senior Manager in our CSE Referrals Bureau,
  • an experienced Investigation Officer,
  • a Covert Internet Investigator, and
  • have secondment opportunities for experienced Law Enforcement Investigators.
Further information about these roles and how to apply is available on our website.


We would like to wish all of our subscribers, partners and supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If you have an idea for a feature to include in a future issue of NCA News, let us know. We want to highlight great examples of partnership working. Please email your suggestions for suitable stories or submit contributions to NCANews@nca.x.gsi.gov.uk.

We are also interested in receiving your comments and views more generally about NCA News, so please do get in contact and share your feedback.
 
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