This week the Serious Crime Bill started in the Lords. It is primarily aimed at cracking down, in various ways, on organised criminal gangs. Organised crime remains a significant problem in the UK. There are perhaps as many as 5,500 organised groups operating in the UK, causing huge suffering through activities such as drug and people trafficking, and making an enormous financial impact: they cost the UK an estimated £24 billion a year.
Crime is down significantly since this Government was formed without resort to reactionary and unjust proposals by our Tory partners (though Labour support put through harsh – and to my mind probably ineffective – knife crime penalties last night). The Bill will make important changes, such as criminalising those who knowingly assist organised gangs, such as helping with logistics, and making it harder for those benefiting from the proceeds of crime from hiding their assets, something that Martin Thomas has forcefully argued needs to be tackled.
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