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Clause 4 - Relationships between NCA and other agencies: tasking etc

Part of Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 24th January 2013.

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Photo of Jeremy Browne Jeremy Browne The Minister of State, Home Department 12:45 pm, 24th January 2013

I am sorry; perhaps I was not clear enough. I would imagine that voluntary tasking will happen on a routine basis. In the same way as in the example I gave earlier, I would imagine that Devon and Cornwall police and Avon and Somerset police would, as a matter of routine, co-operate on crime that happens on the border of Somerset and Devon.

Voluntary give and take and reciprocal arrangements will be put in place on a case-by-case basis, depending on a particular operation. On NCA tracking, I gave an example on Tuesday of guns coming from the United States via the Netherlands into Kent through Dover and then being transported up the motorways into Greater Manchester. Those illegally smuggled guns would obviously have gone through the areas of several police forces.

The optimum point at which we would use our intelligence to apprehend the smugglers before the guns could be used by criminal gangs might not be in Kent or Greater Manchester, but at some point in between—or in collaboration with the Dutch police, when the guns were in transit through the Netherlands. All sorts of voluntary arrangements would be made, so it would be in the interests of those who were paying the police precept in both Greater Manchester and Kent to have greater capacity provided for their police forces so that the public could be kept safer in their areas.

Separately, and much more limited, is directed tasking. The example that I gave earlier was that of half a dozen forces in a region. If one of those forces, for whatever reason, were not co-operative, as a result of which there was a missing piece in the jigsaw in that region, that force might in particular circumstances be directed by the director general of the NCA.