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The Home Office has announced a new team of specialist investigators that will take on the challenge of dealing with organised crime in a digital world.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) will pool expertise from across the nation's police forces, bringing together specialists in technology and finance as well as those with particular investigative skills.

The squad is tasked with using new methods, including hi-tech expertise to uncover the new wave of organised crime, to track down crime bosses and bring them to justice. Just like the rest of us, this new wave of criminals is using technology to facilitate its business. It makes sense, then, that those chasing the bad guys should have the skills to chase the in the real and virtual worlds in which we all operate.

Home Secretary David Blunkett commented: “Modern organised criminals are sophisticated, organised and well-resourced entrepreneurs. We need to respond to this changing criminal threat, harness the skills of non-traditional investigators like accountants and legal experts and combine these with our world-class detectives and intelligence officers. We must become better organised, more sophisticated and more technologically capable than the criminals. We must not just keep pace but have to get ahead of them.”

The Government also announced that a comprehensive strategy to target organised criminals, including tough new legislation, will be set out shortly. The policy paper is expected to be published next month. ®

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