Almost £3billion a year is spent tackling the UK’s thousands of crime gangs

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ALMOST £3billion a year is being spent tackling the thousands of major gangs operating in Britain.

A new report reveals there are more than 4,500 organised crime groups in the UK, running everything from human trafficking and fraud to drugs and guns.

Major gangs are costing the UK £3billion a year
Photolibrary RM – Getty

They cost society an estimated £37bn including £20bn from the impact of drug addiction and £8bn from fraud, the National Audit Office spending watchdog says today.

A map shows the UK is targeted by a United Nations of crooks including cocaine barons in South America, fraudsters from Nigeria, Eastern European slave masters and Belgian gun-runners.

And the threat is growing, with a 36 per cent increase in modern slavery victims last year, and 9 per cent rise in child sex abuse victims.


Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “The Government faces an immense challenge in fighting this complex, evolving threat.

“While it has made efforts to step up its response, there is more the Government could do to make its aspirations a reality.

“To deliver its new strategy, the Government needs to better match resources to its priorities, improve its understanding of these crimes and ensure governance and funding fit with its ambitious plans.”

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