Serious and organised crime (SOC) is a global threat incurring huge costs to governments and causing serious harms to people, economies and the environment. By distorting and impeding inclusive and sustainable economic growth, corrupting democratic processes, damaging social cohesion, exacerbating exclusion, and undermining the rule of law, SOC is a major contributor to instability in many parts of the world.
For the UK, SOC 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. It costs the UK at least £37 billion annually and has a corrosive impact on the country’s public services and communities.
In 2019, a new cross-government Global Approach to tackling SOC overseas was agreed. Through an evidence-based, prioritised and whole-system approach, the Global Approach aims to deliver on the UK’s goal to ‘protect our citizens and prosperity, and project our global influence by limiting safe space for serious and organised criminals to operate against us overseas and online’.
To support the development of a more coordinated and evidence-based approach on tackling SOC inside the UK Government, the Home Office has appointed Itad as their MERL provider.
In this role, we will be providing MERL services across the Global SOC portfolio from 2021 to 2024, to help build the evidence base underpinning the SOC portfolio from which teams can work with, and to enhance their ability to generate and use evidence.
We aim to:
- Strengthen the evidence base for what works in tackling SOC to enable programme teams to make evidence-informed adaptations and increase the effectiveness of interventions that are gender and conflict-sensitive.
- Support Home Office Global SOC portfolio teams to use this evidence base in order to better understand, demonstrate, and articulate what the portfolio is achieving overseas and the benefits to the UK.
- Facilitate the sharing of evidence and learning with other UK government stakeholders, partners, and the international community to enable Home Office thought leadership, encourage coherence and integrated delivery, and ultimately support more effective collective responses to SOC threats globally.