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Organised Crime Agency Must Be Integrated


Media Release

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Organised Crime Agency Must Be Integrated

The new Organised and Financial Crime Agency must avoid mistakes made overseas, and ensure it is well integrated with every day policing, Police Association President Greg O'Connor cautioned today.

"Establishing the Organised and Financial Crime Agency is encouraging because it is the first sign that New Zealand is finally starting to take organised crime seriously. Bringing the SFO under the umbrella will ensure the expertise it has developed will be able to be used in a coordinated way, to the best possible effect," Greg O'Connor said.

"But this must not be a stand-alone agency, because experience in Australia and the UK shows it will quickly lose touch with grassroots intelligence gathered by frontline cops and detectives, out in the districts, every day. The UK Serious Organised Crime Agency has had problems getting traction because it is so separate. The Australian NCA performed so badly, police dubbed it 'Never Catch Anyone'.

"New Zealand's Organised and Financial Crime Agency must be keyed into real policing, because intelligence gathered on the frontline is crucial to building a real picture of the breadth of organised crime networks. And it must be two-way interaction. The Agency must be sharing intelligence and coordinating with district CIB staff on a day-to-day basis," Mr O'Connor said.

"It would be a huge mistake to think we can tackle organised crime from a shiny glass tower on Queen St or Lambton Quay.

"A successful attack on organised crime needs to be sustained, coordinated, and multi-layered, using all the tools at our disposal. That means attacking the ground-level gang and drug-distribution presence as well as knocking the top off the pyramid," Mr O'Connor said.

ENDS

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