Home secretary to get tough on crime and fraud

Financial professionals in the public and private sector will be under new
duties to share data in a proposed new government drive to tackle fraudsters,
organised criminals and money laundering.

This week, home secretary John Reid unveiled a radical package of measures to
target and disrupt gangsters, financial criminals and those who bankroll them.

The White Paper includes steps to deal with financial crime that have already
been backed the Scottish Executive.

The consultation paper ‘New Powers for Organised and Financial Crime’ aims to
deter those about to embark on organised crime and make it harder for those
already doing so to operate effectively.

The measures will make it easier for law enforcement agencies across the UK
to curtail the movements of organised criminals – especially those who have
avoided detection and prosecution – and to dry up the trade of ‘dirty money’
that finances them.

There will be improved data sharing between the public and private sector –
including banks – on suspected fraudsters as an extension of the National Fraud
Initiative which covers the UK.

A new Prevention Order initially affecting England and Wales will restrict
the movement and financial transactions of organised criminals.

The home secretary said: ‘Organised crime is an insidious scourge on our
society and we want to ensure that the UK is tackling it at every level.

‘The proposals we are putting forward are designed to prevent these criminals
from operating on UK soil. We know that financial criminals are experts at
exploiting and using information held by agencies, which is why we are focusing
on data sharing.’

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