Home Affairs CommitteeSupplementary written evidence submitted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency [EC 01a]

During my appearance before the Committee on the 11 December 2012 to give evidence to the e-Crime inquiry, I promised to write listing the EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) measures that SOCA utilises in regards to cyber crime investigations.

There is extensive law enforcement collaboration at an operational level between SOCA and partners across Europe, which supports and informs EU policy. This joint activity takes place through a number of JHA measures. I set out details of these, with a particular emphasis on cyber crime below.

With the support of other UK law enforcement agencies, SOCA has established a multi-agency UK Liaison Bureau at Europol which, via a network of other national liaison bureaux and contact points, coordinates international operational engagement with other Member States and third countries/organisations which have cooperation agreements with Europol. The UK (SOCA) participates in Europol’s Focal Points Cyborg, Twins and Terminal, working with other partners to address the threat of cyber crime through operational cooperation and sharing intelligence, utilising Europol’s expert analytical capability as the EU’s information hub to identify opportunities for further cooperation.

On 11 January 2013 the EU Cyber Crime Centre based within Europol opened. This centre will support Member States and EU institutions in coordinating operations and investigations with international partners in line with Europol’s wider mandate; and, will provide an expert analytical capability to partners. The Centre will improve evaluation and monitoring of existing preventive and investigative measures, support the development of training and awareness-raising for law enforcement and judiciary, establish cooperation with the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and interface with a network of national/governmental Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).

SOCA also participates in a European Multidisclinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) project on cybercrime, which is led by Romania. This is one of eight EMPACT projects overseen by the EU Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) set up to streamline and help coordinate operational cooperation on priority threats to the EU, as part of the EU Policy Cycle on serious and organised international crime. Europol plays a supportive role to this work, through its Focal Points, hosting project meetings and assisting in coordinating operational activity associated with the project.

SOCA also partakes in the use of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) to support international operational engagement. The use of JITs provides a mechanism for Member States to cooperate operationally, establishing a clear agreement between participating countries setting out terms of engagement for cooperation and information sharing in accordance with Member States’ national legislation. Both Europol and Eurojust provide support to JITs; Europol in providing analytical support and Eurojust in providing judicial expertise, legal assistance and funding.

In addition to the above measures SOCA also regularly utilises the following JHA measures:

European Arrest Warrant.

Schengen Article 40.

Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Cooperation.

Asset Recovery Offices (ARO).

Andy Archibald
Deputy Director
Serious Organised Crime Agency

Prepared 29th July 2013