Britain’s new FBI-style crime-fighting agency was launched Monday with a threat to hit the country’s most “horrible” criminals with a robust response.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has 4,500 dedicated officers and is aimed at tackling the estimated 37,000 criminals involved in serious and organised crime blighting Britain.
“There will be no one beyond the reach of law enforcement or beyond the reach of the NCA,” said its director general Keith Bristow.
“Those people involved in the most horrible activities can expect the most comprehensive and robust response.”
The agency has an annual budget of $800 million and focuses on five key areas: organised crime; economic crime; border policing; child exploitation and online protection; and cyber crime.
Although focusing on crime in Britain, it will place around 120 officers in 40 different countries.
Unlike the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, it does not have responsibility for counter-terrorism, which is dealt with by police. A review will examine whether such operations should move to the NCA in future.
It is the third attempt in 15 years to set up a “British FBI”, a move which has been met by scepticism from critics.