British-style FBI to target people smugglers

The Home Office said today its new police agency, dubbed the
British-style FBI, would take over efforts to tackle organised drug
and people smuggling, writes Haroon

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) would take over
combating people trafficking from HM Customs and the Immigration
Service, according to a bill announced in the Queen’s speech

“This is one of the biggest changes in UK law enforcement
since the 1960s”, said SOCA chair Sir Stephen Lander.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, one of nine new
bills from Home Secretary David Blunkett, will give tough new
police powers to help officers tackle crime and improve community

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: “These powers will
… provide constables with vital support that will see
frontline officers spending more time where they belong, on the

Community support officers will also have additional powers to
deter begging.

Harassment laws will be extended to prohibit people from
stirring up religious hatred.

Automatic reporting restrictions in youth courts, where a
juvenile is convicted of breaching an anti-social behaviour order,
have also been removed.

Other bills will target reducing re-offending and cutting
juvenile crime with more effective rehabilitation and

And police will be able to force people arrested for certain
crimes to undergo compulsory drug testing or force drug addicts
into treatment.

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