Crime campaigner Caroline Flint MP has called on the Government to urgently review its strategy for tackling serious and organised crime, in a report released today.
The report, published today by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee of which Flint is a senior member, placed the cost of serious organised crime at £37bn a year but criticised the Government’s current strategy as poorly prioritised and inefficient.
Commenting on the report, Flint, a former Home Office Minister, said: “At present only 4% of the total budget for tackling organised crime is spent on preventative initiatives.
“Organised crime groups operate in several towns and villages across Doncaster. They increase fear among residents and encourage drug-dealing, intimidation and burglaries of homes, farms and commercial premises. In outlying communities and rural areas, we cannot have the police take on these crime groups with one arm tied behind their backs.
“To ensure our police forces can work proactively to tackle serious and organised crime – they need long term secure funding – and strong powers to seize homes and luxury goods acquired through crime.
“If the Government doesn’t get serious about its strategy to prevent individuals being drawn into organised crime today, we will pay the price in the years to come.”
Flint went on to highlight the report’s finding that current funding arrangements, many of which are approved on an annual basis, are putting law enforcement bodies at a disadvantage in the fight against organised crime.
Said Flint: “South Yorkshire Police do some great work tackling these complicated crime groups. But they cannot be at their most effective combating some of the most complex, organised, and harmful forms of crime if they face uncertainty about funding their operations going forward.”
“It’s not sustainable, and it puts programmes that have been successful at risk of not being renewed. Our police forces deserve better.”
Flint has previously called on the Home Office to offer South Yorkshire Police greater certainty and sustainability in terms of its annual grant funding in November 2018.
Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP has been a member of the Public Accounts Committee since 2015. The Public Accounts Committee is Parliament’s oldest and most powerful select committee, and works to scrutinise the Government’s finances and ensure better value for money for the taxpayer. The Report can also be accessed in HTML and PDF formats via the following links, which will go live at time of publication:
The home page for this inquiry, where evidence relating to the Report can be found, here. For an overview of the Committee’s work, including open inquiries, visit the PAC home page here. Follow us on Twitter @CommonsPAC