Intelligence-led investigations

Investigating serious and organised crime is our core remit. We lead our own investigations and work in partnership with other agencies to target, disrupt and arrest groups and individuals involved in serious and organised crime.

Our intelligence-led operational activity is directed at the most high-risk offenders causing the greatest harm to the UK, its communities and our partners abroad. 

We tackle the highest risk vulnerabilities and enablers that facilitate criminals' illegal activities which threaten our safety and security.

Arrests as a result of NCA activity in 2017/18

Arrests as a result of NCA activity in 2017/18

Serious and organised crime threats we combat include:

As well as leading our own investigations we support the police, Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) and other law enforcement agencies. We coordinate regional, national and international activity and support investigations by international partners to combat serious and organised crime threats at source.

Where it is not practical for us to have specialist expertise or resources, for example maritime capability, we work with partners such as Border Force, the Royal Navy and international law enforcement agencies to share specialist resources.

Specialist capabilities

Investigating high-end serious and organised crime often requires specialist capabilities which are not cost-effective for every police force and law enforcement partner to maintain. We provide a range of specialist and niche capabilities that are best delivered nationally on behalf of all UK law enforcement.

Specialist investigations

In the case of large, complex or nationally significant cases it may be more appropriate for the NCA to lead an investigation rather than a police force. Requests for us to lead a specialist investigation are typically made by a police force or the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

NCA specialist investigations currently in progress include investigations into:

  • Non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, between 1997 and 2013 (Operation Stovewood)

  • Child sexual abuse in the care system in North Wales (Operation Pallial)