“SOCA and the PSNI work together”

The post of Northern Ireland Security Minister is another that’s held by one of Hain’s campaign the NIO Ministerial team, until the Assembly agrees otherwise that is. The current incumbent, Paul Goggins, points to an interesting report by SOCA on their activities over 2006/7[pdf file] when “SOCA received from the Home Office, HMRC, the Northern Ireland Office and the Scottish Executive approximately £399m in resource provision and £43m in capital funding.” Interesting not so much in itself but in light of the way SOCA’s governance operates. btw the NIO’s references appear to be somewhat inaccurate. According to the report [page 31]

In Northern Ireland, SOCA is represented on the Organised Crime Task Force and engages with partners therein as appropriate. SOCA and the PSNI work together to mitigate the impact of serious organised criminality on communities both sides of the Irish Sea. Examples have included SOCA support of PSNI operations against drugs importation, money laundering and organised illegal immigration. PSNI have similarly supported SOCA operations into drugs importation and money laundering in Britain.

SOCA’s governance

The Chair of SOCA, appointed by the Home Secretary, is responsible for SOCA’s overall approach and for its relationship with Ministers and with Government generally, for SOCA’s strategy and, with the non-executive directors, for oversight of its operational performance.

The Director General is also appointed by the Home Secretary, and is responsible for everything SOCA does operationally and administratively. He is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of SOCA’s management team and ultimately also for the appointment, accreditation and direction of its other staff. As Accounting Officer, he is responsible for SOCA’s expenditure and accounting arrangements.

There’s one other point of interest.. according to the report [page 28]

SOCA is internationally recognised as expert in dealing with kidnap and extortion cases.

Which makes me wonder what their view is of the PSNI strategy of dealing with extortion cases by talking to “those with influence”?

Adds BBC report on the.. erm.. report