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BritainUSA Home > British Foreign Policy
Drugs & Crime

Learn about Britain's fight against drugs and international crime.


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  • Click here for more Drugs & Crime news ...

    The policing of our society no longer stops at the borders of the UK. Criminal networks take advantage of technology and communications to exploit weak spots in the international system. This feeds crime in the UK and undermines good governance and development elsewhere. There are many forms of organized crime posing a threat to the UK, most notably trafficking in Class A drugs and organized immigration crime, but also money laundering, sex offences against children, hi-tech crime and excise fraud (particularly tobaccos smuggling).

    All of these criminal activities have a foreign dimension, and the majority can be addressed most effectively through collaboration and cooperation with foreign governments and their law enforcement agencies. Through judicial and law enforcement cooperation the UK aims to increase the probability of detection, disrupt criminal activity and remove the profit motive through seizure of the proceeds of crime.

    It is now more important than ever that a concerted approach is made to cooperate on an international level to tackle all aspects of the drugs problem and international crime in a comprehensive, coordinated and balanced way. The UK's specific aims include:

    • Developing effective, cross-government policies to tackle underlying problems in other countries, which can encourage international crime, including conflict and poverty.
    • Helping to establish the rule of law in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.
    • Providing counter-narcotics training to law enforcement agencies in Afghanistan, Jamaica, Colombia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, the Balkans and other key source and transit countries.
    • Leading efforts to end poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.
    • Strengthening the EU's contribution to dealing with drugs, crime and people-trafficking worldwide. 
    • Improving the effectiveness of UN Agencies, Interpol and the Financial Action Task Force in tackling crime.

    UKs Drugs and International Crime Department

    The Home Office leads on HMG's drugs and crime policies overall. The Foreign Office, through its Drugs and International Crime Department (DICD) works to coordinate the implementation of the UKs international effort against drugs and organized crime, in partnership with the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND), the Home Office, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Department for International Development (DfID).

    The UK's Multilateral Drugs Diplomacy

    In its fight against the drug trade, the UK's Multilateral Drugs Diplomacy utilizes a number of international groups including the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the UN Drug Conventions, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Europol, and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

    International Organized Crime: Non-Drugs Issues

    Organized crime is big business. The global economy, European integration and the end of the Cold War have presented national crime gangs with new business opportunities that have transformed them into 'transnational' crime syndicates. Today's transnational crime syndicates are increasingly escaping the efforts of law enforcement agencies to contain their influence. A determined, coordinated response is needed to tackle organized crime. In the UK and internationally, law enforcement agencies work closely together to deliver this response.

    Learn more about what the UK is doing to fight organized crime in the areas of illegal immigration, money laundering, sex offenses against children, cyber crime, revenue fraud, and advanced fee fraud.

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    Related Websites

    Cabinet Office : Anti-drugs
    The aim of the Cabinet Office is to help the Prime Minister and Minist...
    Foreign & Commonwealth Office : Tackling Drug Threats
    For the information pages on Tackling Drug Threats ...
    HM Customs and Excise
    The Department responsible for indirect taxes, including value added t...


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