To ensure that all NCA officers receive all important updates from the National Crime Agency on matters relating to COVID-19, we have both agreed to act collaboratively at this critical time. We will be supporting the agency by forwarding communications. The following was sent out by the NCA on the 24th March 2020.
National Officer NCOA
Last night the Prime Minister announced new instructions designed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and as a result I have reviewed the Agency position on how we will ask officers to go about our business. Whilst it of course vitally important that we actively play our part to reduce the risk of spreading the virus we also need to continue our work to protect the public from organised crime threats. The government has designated us as key workers precisely because of our important work and we are rightly expected to carry on our excellent work to lead the UK fight to cut serious and organised crime. We can only do this though a One NCA effort.
At this moment our work is more important than ever. We know that criminals are already looking to exploit the opportunities for serious crime; cyber criminals are using coronavirus related emails and website to infect computers in order to steal data or to deploy ransomware. Fraudsters are looking to trick people into buying non-existent virus-related products and we are already gathering intelligence that paedophiles are planning to target children who are on-line more during the day. At the same time, we are still seeing drugs, firearms and people being smuggled into the UK by organised criminals. It is a busy time.
Our challenge is to ensure that we can continue to tackle these threats whilst protecting each other, and the wider public, as much as possible. In order to do this, I have asked our senior leaders to urgently review their teams to identify where people can work from home and still effectively carry out their roles. Your line managers will be part of this decision making so that we can make the best decisions possible and we will confirm your individual positions during today.
If your current role can be done from home then please do bear in mind that we may still need to redeploy you to other work that might need to be carried out at an NCA site. At times like these we will need to be flexible and I am grateful for the many examples of this that I have seen.
Of course, it remains the case that as we are an operational agency a significant proportion of our work cannot be done from home. Many officers need access to technology, data or security measures that are not possible to combine with home working. In these cases, we will continue to work with officers to identify practical ways to minimise the risk of contracting or passing on the virus.
I don't underestimate the impact that this situation is having on us all and our families and I am immensely proud of the way in which the Agency has reacted. Despite the circumstances, daily I am seeing great operational work supported by fantastic and creative enabling teams. I am also seeing a practical, "can do" approach that will stand us in good stead over the coming months.
Thank you all for this; more information will be published during today and tomorrow DG Lynne Owens and I will be holding another web chat to answer any questions that you may have.
Look after yourselves.
Director General (Operations)
National Crime Agency