NCA international liaison officers

To combat international serious and organised crime effectively we deploy NCA International Liaison Officers (ILOs) in strategic locations around the world where their expertise can help disrupt serious criminality before it impacts on the UK.

Our network of ILOs deployed overseas, supported by UK based officers, covers more than 130 countries around the world. 

Collectively they fulfil a vital role, extending our global reach and influence by working alongside our international law enforcement partners to tackle serious and organised crime in key locations that provide the best opportunity to disrupt the threat to the UK.

Infographic: 1,068 arrests in the UK, 974 arrests overseas

Arrests made as a result of NCA activity in 2017/18

 The ILOs work closely with the police, border, customs, security agencies and judicial authorities in the countries to which they are deployed, directing the development of intelligence, ensuring information is shared appropriately and coordinating law enforcement action that supports UK investigations. 

The support that the ILOs can provide varies depending on their location and the capabilities of host partners.

In many countries ILOs help to build and improve the capability of overseas agencies to deal with organised crime threats through training programmes, providing much needed equipment and sharing the NCA experience of how best to tackle emerging threats such as cyber crime and modern slavery. 

Effective collaboration with host nation law enforcement allows us to use their assets and capabilities to support our own priorities and operational work. 

We recognise the need for agility as threat types emerge, change or develop. To combat specific threats we may deploy officers with particular specialist skills to parts of the world where we assess particular crime threats are present that impact adversely upon UK interests. These threats include those from drugs, child sexual abuse and exploitation, cyber crime, corruption and kidnapping. 

Facilitating cooperation with international law enforcement

Our UK International Crime Bureau (UKICB) provides the UK National Central Bureau for INTERPOL, the UK Europol National Unit and the UK SIRENE Bureau (the network which supports cooperation and coordination between law enforcement agencies in the EU member states).

At Europol in the Hague we lead the UK Liaison Bureau. This is a multi-agency team made up of NCA officers and seconded officers from:

  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Police Scotland
  • Immigration Enforcement
  • ACRO Criminal Records Office
  • Regional Organised Crime Units

The UK Liaison Bureau supports many serious and organised crime investigations by UK law enforcement agencies

Supporting diplomatic objectives

In addition we recognise the strength and benefits of the UK diplomatic agenda in the fight against serous and organised crime. To that end, NCA international liaison officers also play a vital role in supporting the UK with diplomatic efforts globally. .

Enhancing stability and improving cooperation with foreign partners has huge benefits to the security and economic prosperity of the UK.

The constructive relationships we have developed internationally mean that our international liaison officers enjoy unique access to the very highest levels of host nation governance, including Interior Ministries, intelligence agencies, law enforcement bodies and National Security Councils that other representatives of the UK government may not have. 

Working together with partners from across UK government, including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, this privileged access is a critical platform from which to promote ‘Global Britain’, and the values this represents, including respect for human rights and commitment to the rules-based international order.