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Head of NCA appointed

Keith Bristow, the Chief Constable of Warwickshire, has been selected to head the new National Crime Agency (NCA), due to become fully operational next December. This follows the appointment of the previous front-runner, Bernard Hogan-Howe to the position of Met police commissioner.

The Home Secretary Theresa May picked Bristow from a shortlist of four, including the Metropolitan police deputy commissioner, Tim Godwin, the Derbyshire chief constable, Mick Creedon, and Surrey police's Mark Rowley.

May said: “For too long we have lacked a strong, collaborative national response in the fight for criminal justice. The NCA will make the UK a more hostile environment for serious and organised crime and strengthen our border.

“In his new role, Keith Bristow will develop an agency of powerful operational crime fighters who will ensure those who commit serious and organised crime are tracked down, pursued and brought to justice. Keith Bristow will be the NCA's first operational head and will play a vital role in developing the new agency.”

The NCA is a major part of the Government’s plans for police reform, and will bring together the serious organised crime agency, child exploitation and online protection centre, and parts of the national policing improvement agency.

After the 2012 Olympics, the NCA could also take over the Met’s national counter-terrorism role, as well as dealing with drug and people smuggling, fraud and money laundering and major gun crime. Bristow will have the power to direct other police forces and law enforcement agencies to undertake investigations.

Bristow said: “The NCA will protect communities and individuals from harm by tackling serious, organised and complex crime. In partnership with other law enforcement agencies we will ensure that criminals are identified, pursued and brought to justice; their groups dismantled and their activities disrupted. We will do even more to strip away their illegally obtained assets.

“Officers and staff from existing agencies that will become part of the NCA are already working hard to tackle serious, organised and complex crime, and new approaches and capabilities will become operational before 2013 to cut crime and protect our borders.

“I shall be working closely with chief constables, leaders of other law-enforcement organisations, police authorities, police and crime commissioners, and the Government to ensure that the NCA delivers the maximum protection possible for communities within the resources it has available.”

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