The following Practice Compliance precedent provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
What’s the issue?
The Serious Crime Act 2015 (SCA 2015) introduced a new offence of participating in the activities of an organised crime group.
Taking part in any activities that you know or reasonably suspect:
are criminal activities of an organised crime group, or
will help an organised crime group to carry on criminal activities
Activities that constitute crimes attracting a maximum sentence of seven years or more (eg drug or human trafficking, firearms offences, fraud, child exploitation and cybercrime).
There doesn’t have to be any financial gain involved.
Organised crime group
An organised crime group is defined as three or more people who act or agree to act together to further the pursuit of criminal activities.
This is a broad definition.
In theory, the offence could be triggered in relation to any activity that assists, enables or is participatory in, eg a conspiracy to steal or commit a fraud involving three or more people.
In reality, organised crime group structures vary. Successful groups often consist of a durable core of key individuals around whom there is a cluster of subordinates, specialists and other more transient members plus an extended network of associates.
Many groups are often loose networks of criminals that come together for specific criminal
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