Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Wednesday, 8 June 2011 18:51 UK

National Crime Agency 'will boost crime-fighting'

The creation of a National Crime Agency (NCA) to replace the current Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) will bring about a "dramatic improvement" in crime-fighting, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

In a Commons statement on 8 June 2011, Mrs May said that but only 11% of the 6,000 gangs responsible for organised crime in the UK were being hit "in a meaningful way" by existing law enforcement agencies.

"We must do better," she told MPs.

The NCA, due to be set up in 2013, will be responsible for border policing, economic crime and the work currently done by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) - unlike the existing agency, Soca.

The new agency will also house the national cyber crime unit.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper branded the NCA "Soca Plus", warning that the reorganisation could create "chaos" in the fight against serious crime.

"The reforms need to be handled effectively or they can go badly awry and awry they have already gone," she told MPs.

"Child protection experts have resigned, counter-terrorism plans have been publicly slapped down by the Met and the Serious Fraud Office has been put in a state of suspended animation.

"All of this at a time when 12,000 police officers have been cut across the country. The government is pushing ahead with American-style plans for police and crime commissioners that nobody wants and the truth is these plans have been dogged by chaos and confusion."

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