National Crime Agency

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is the UK police organisation created by the passing and enactment of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, and will be operational by October 2013. The agency will replace the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and house a new National Cyber Crime Unit.

Transparency

Section 6 of the bill attempts to enshrine "a duty to publish" with the expectation that the NCA will operate as open and transparent as possible. However, Schedule 8 adds the NCA to the list of security agencies exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Jeremy Browne MP

We envisage the NCA having a pooled information-gathering capacity, so it would be difficult for freedom of information measures to apply to some parts of the NCA but not others. Information about one part of the NCA will lead to information being garnered about another part, which it would not be in the public interest to disclose.
That is the reason for the overall exemption in the clause, but I reassure the Committee that the duty to publish an annual report and other publishing requirements mean that the Government will be keen to share knowledge that it is entirely reasonable for the public to know about the NCA without having insights into its intelligence or operational practices, which could compromise the security of its operations.[1]

The NCA routinely decline any request for specific information made in the form of an FoI request, stating that they will instead consider requests for routine publication of key information.

Domain suspension requests

The NCA is allowed by Nominet to make domain suspension requests. They have so far made a small number of requests, according to Nominet’s annual report statistics.

Police databases and technology

Development of police databases and technology is a function that has passed to the National Crime Agency, from the former National Policing Improvement Agency.

External Links

References

  1. Crime and Courts bill evidence session 29 January 2013 (last accessed 21 March)