Australian Institute of Criminology

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Gaining an understanding of, and increasing effective intervention in, organised criminal networks in London

Australian Institute of Criminology, Anna Aquilina
27 October 2005 -

Anna Aquilina
Strategy Adviser, Specialist Crime, Metropolitan Police Service, London


The forces of globalisation (new technologies, human trafficking, mass transportation and new cultural communities) in London and the increasing dominance of London as a major financial and cultural centre are reflected in the growing complexity and presence of organised criminal networks in all aspects of London's communities. This requires us to develop a new understanding of the socio-economic and political impact of these criminal networks, and how we can engage more effectively with relevant communities to help disrupt these criminal networks.

The Specialist Crime Directorate is leading the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in developing a comprehensive approach to understanding and tackling organised criminal networks, and reducing the harm these networks cause in our communities and neighbourhoods. The main components of this approach are to: shift our use of intelligence from crime type to understanding the criminal networks and the businesses/activities they are involved in; increase our understanding of the harm caused by criminal networks; prioritise the highest-harm causing networks and individuals for effective intervention; and evaluating the impact of our intervention over time.

About the speaker

Anna has been working in the Specialist Crime Directorate (SCD) in the MPS since July 2004. Her role includes developing and communicating the MPS strategy for tackling serious and organised crime across London, helping to realign the SCD to best deliver this strategy, and influencing legislative & policy issues in the wider government arena. This involves working closely with people in a range of roles across the MPS, with other agencies across the country, and with stakeholders around Whitehall.

Prior to joining the MPS, Anna was a policy adviser in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit in London, where she worked primarily on moving Class A drugs/organised crime policy/strategy in the UK towards a harm reduction agenda.

Before moving to the UK Anna worked in DFAT for 2 years and in management consulting for many years.