Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Crucial crime fighting services may "drop into the ether"...

Chief constables are fretting over the introduction of the National Crime Agency (NCA) which Theresa May announces today.

The problem is that as well as replacing the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the NCA will also replace the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which provides services including managing several national crime databases – one of which was used by police to bring about the arrest of a man for the murder of 25-year-old Jia Ashton earlier this year.

However, while ministers will abolish the NPIA in 2012, the NCA will not be up and running till 2013 – leaving crucial functions unsupervised for a year.

The NPIA manages the Dangerous Persons Database, the National DNA Database, the UK’s Fingerprint Database and the Missing Person’s Bureau.

Meanwhile it also trains serving police officers in everything from mobile phone forensics to ‘strategic firearms command’.

The agency then provides operational support to the UK’s 43 forces – accrediting financial experts, for example, to help forces arrange what to do with the proceeds of crime they confiscate.

Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police Mick Creedon told a select committee a couple of weeks back: “We face an issue that there are critical services provided by the NPIA, absolutely critical services, that at the minute have a date which is going to drop off, with nowhere to go.”

He said the NPIA’s services could simply “drop into the ether”.

The Government is yet to formalise plans for what organisation will take on the agency’s functions in the intervening period.

We won’t hear much talk of that bit today from the ministers of course.


Anonymous said...

Another well thought through policy from the Government- not rushed at all.

Anonymous said...

Do they have any policies that actually work?

Anonymous said...

The people who work in these agencies will continue to work- just without senior management and oversight. They'll probably do famously.

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