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Serious Violence and Organised Crime (SVOC)

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What is Serious Violence, Organised Crime (SVOC)?

Serious Violence, Organised Crime (SVOC) covers two related areas of serious crime – Serious Organised Crime (SOC) and Serious Violence.

Serious and organised crime (SOC) is a significant and established national security threat. The smuggling and distribution of drugs and guns; sexual abuse of children; cross-border trafficking and smuggling of people; exploitation of individuals; industrial-scale frauds; ransomware attacks; and the laundering of dirty money in and through the UK are causing harm to our citizens and communities on a significant scale.”  2021 National Strategic Assessment (NSA) of Serious and Organised Crime, National Crime Agency


Serious and organised crime affects more UK citizens, more often, than any other national security threat and leads to more deaths in the UK each year than all other national security threats combined. A large amount of serious and organised crime remains hidden or underreported, meaning the true scale is likely to be greater than we currently know.” Serious and Organised Crime Strategy 


“The scope of the [Serious Violence] strategy is concerned with specific types of crime such as homicide, knife crime, and gun crime and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent, such as in gangs and county lines drug dealing.” Serious Violence Strategy

The Beating Crime Plan 2021 includes a focus to cut homicide and serious violence; exposing and ending hidden harms; and building capability and capacity to deal with fraud and online crime.

Several cross-cutting themes thread throughout Serious Violence, Organised Crime. These topics are relevant to all aspects of SVOC:

These topics are mainly Serious Organised Crime:

These topics mainly relate to Serious Violence:


Serious Violence Duty

The Home Office released the final Serious Violence Duty Guidance in December 2022. The Wales Safer Communities Network are producing a series of 7 minute briefings covering different aspects of the Duty, jointly with the Wales Violence Prevention Unit. The briefings are available to download below.

January 2023

The National Crime Agency lead the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. 

Since 2013, the government has introduced robust new legislation to tackle Serious Organised Crime, relevant Acts include:

Additional legislation relevant to Serious Violence, includes:

Please see SVOC sub-topics for additional specific legislation.

Upcoming legislation:

Also – see individual pages for additional duties and powers, including Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, such as the role of First Responders or the use of the National Referral Mechanism.

An overview of powers to disrupt serious and organised criminals can be read within the Serious Organised Crime Strategy. There are a wide range of other tools to help exploit weaknesses in criminal networks and to make the lives of serious and organised criminals as difficult as possible, from vehicle prohibition and civil tax recovery to gang injunctions and local authority licensing powers. These are set out in the Menu of Tactics published by the College of Policing, which includes hundreds of powers, tools and interventions across national authorities and local agencies to prevent and disrupt serious and organised crime. 

Note: There are upcoming duties and powers, including Serious Violence Duty, Homicide Reviews and Serious Violence Reduction Orders, within Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – Parliamentary Bills – UK Parliament and arising following the Beating Crime Plan 2021.

Also – see individual pages for additional duties and powers, including Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, such as the role of First Responders or the use of the National Referral Mechanism.

  • Local Government Association 2015

Tackling serious and organised crime a local response. tackling-serious-and-orga-44a.pdf (

  • Home Office

Serious and organised crime: local profiles. Guidance on the use of local profiles of serious and organised crime. Gov.UK

Serious and organised crime toolkit – developed by the Home Office, in partnership with the police and the voluntary sector, to provide information for practitioners working with young people. Serious and organised crime toolkit –

Home Office Practitioner Toolkit. Gov.UK

  • PHSE Association

Preventing Involvement in Serious and Organised Crime by the Home Office. Two free lesson plans from the Home Office are designed to prevent young people becoming involved in serious and organised crime. Preventing Involvement in Serious and Organised Crime by the Home Office |

Useful Links

National Crime Agency (NCA) leads UK law enforcement’s fight against serious and organised crime. NCA general enquiries or to verify an NCA officer, available 24/7 via 0370 496 7622.

Visit the Website

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency. It’s goal is to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens. 

Visit the Website

CEPOL – European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training

Visit the Website

House of Lords Research Briefing – Policing in the UK: Serious and Organised Crime 

Read the Briefing

Disrupting Serious and Organised CriminalsMenu of Tactics published by the College of Policing 

Read the Tactics

UK Government – Serious and organised crime local partnerships bulletin 

Read the Bulletin

Crimestoppers – What is Serious Organised Crime?

Visit the Website

Help and support

For victims, families and concerned people

If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of crime, please report it to the Police. Call 101 or report it online depending on your region within Wales – South Wales Police, Dyfed Powys Police, Gwent Police or North Wales Police. In an emergency, call 999.

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the Police textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

If you have information about crime and wish to remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.

If you’ve been affected by crime, you can access support from Victim Support, including via their free 24/7 national support line 08 08 16 89 111, or get support online.

You may wish to consider joining Neighbourhood Watch, or other police supported initiatives such as OWL – Online Watch Link.

For more information on how you can keep yourself safe from crime, visit our Personal Safety page and for specialist help and support, visit the individual Topics sections of our website.