“Today’s report from the NCA is a sobering assessment of the threat to us all from serious and organised crime. Many in our communities will already be alert to how criminals and organised crime is changing to prey on the vulnerable.
“But they may not be clear of the scale of these crimes – including child sexual abuse and exploitation, modern slavery, and cyber-crime – as by its nature it is hidden from view. So I welcome the plain speaking of the Director General and her annual report.
“These risks and vulnerabilities are happening in our communities today and at an increasing rate. And they sit alongside ‘disorganised’ crime and continuing risks and vulnerabilities experienced at a very local level. All of this needs to be addressed.
“Lynne Owens, as Director General, makes the case for what she assesses the NCA needs and helpfully acknowledges the whole system approach needed to connect National, Regional and local efforts to maximise the success we all need against those who wish us harm. We need a properly funded and effectively delivered strategy that includes national, regional and local efforts if we are to defeat these criminals.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I and Hampshire Constabulary continue to work closely with the National Crime Agency to tackle and prevent serious and organised crime and to support victims of it. And I continue to fight for the right funding to deliver the modern policing response that this complex and rapidly evolving type of crime requires.
“But policing alone cannot solve the problem. Central government, industry, civil society and the public all have a part to play and today’s report sets out some important examples of what communities and individuals can do to protect themselves against cyber-crime and to be more aware of the signs of serious and organised crime within our communities and report any concerns.
“In the area I serve, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, we are fortunate to have active citizens and communities, watching out for each other, and a Constabulary both dialling up local policing effort alongside addressing the greatest threats and risks of harm that resonate with today’s report. We can all, individuals, communities and organisations contribute to creating SAFE Communities. And my promise is to keep working for funding – whether national, regional or local to ensure we maximise our safety and opportunities to freely realise our potential.”