Organised crime groups are exploiting digital technology to ramp up their activities, a new National Crime Agency report has warned.
The 2018 National Strategic Assessment is the agency’s analysis of serious and organised crime threats.
This year’s report emphasises that criminals are abusing technology and the impact of globalisation to adapt their methods of committing crime, with cyber crime continuing to rise in scale and complexity.
“This year’s assessment shows that organised crime groups are exploiting digital technology, for instance using encryption to communicate, and dark web market places to aid their activities,” said NCA director general Lynne Owens.
The NCA said that under-reporting of data breaches continues to erode its ability to make robust assessments of the scale and cost of network intrusions.
The report draws intelligence from UK law enforcement, government departments, the intelligence community and the private and voluntary sectors.
“Criminals are continuing to develop international connections to increase the reach of their activity, and to maximise profits,” Owens added.
“The increasing sophistication of crime groups, coupled with the changing nature of their geographical reach, demonstrates more than ever the requirement for an increasingly co-ordinated response.
“Working alongside our law enforcement, intelligence and other partners, we are changing the way we operate to ensure the biggest possible impact. We will use this intelligence assessment to build on our operational successes and evidence why further investment in capabilities and capacity is necessary.”