Even though the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, is not yet law, The Times announces, Monday 28th March 2005
"Secret agents join fight against organised crime By Stewart Tendler, Crime Correspondent BRITAIN'S new organised crime-fighting agency has recruited intelligence and security experts for special operations against underworld bosses.
David Bolt, who worked in MI5, and Paul Evans, a former MI6 officer, will have key posts in the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The idea is to bring the skills and training of the intelligence world into frontline policing. Plans for the agency were announced last year after concerns in Downing Street at the failure to curb the drugs trade. It was believed that the fight against organised crime needed new people and new thinking. Sir Stephen Lander, a former director-general of MI5, was appointed to head the board overseeing the agency's creation.
Mr Bolt and Mr West have worked in crime-fighting units after years of work in the intelligence community."
Who is Mr West ?
"Other senior officers may follow them. Mr Bolt, who will be in charge of intelligence operations, headed strategic intelligence operations at the National Criminal Intelligence Service. Mr Evans, who will be "director intervention" at the new agency, was the first outsider to be Chief Investigation Officer at Customs."
So these people are not being recruited from the "intelligence" agencies directly, and should have, in theory, already brought their "skills and training" to play at NCSIS and HMCE ? If these were such a success, then why is there a need for the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the first place ?
The Times headline implies that there is some sort of "brain drain" from the "intellgence" services into SOCA, but this is not necessarily true.
Hopefully the Government will drop the controversial extension of Police powers in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, so as to preserve the powers to set up SOCA, during the "wash up" process when the Election is announced soon.
Even the Police Federation and the Police Superintendents' Association have reservations about the plans remove the traditional independence of police officers who transfer to SOCA, under the direct political control of the Home Secretary.
It will be a scandal if the House of Lords nods through the entire Bill without challenge.