Participation in Organised Crime
A new offence was created under Section 45 of the Serious Crime Act 2015, meaning it’s an offence to be involved and participate in any activities of an organised crime group. It will work along side the offence of conspiracy, a charge aimed at major players in this area. The new participation offence is aimed at anyone who contributes to helping a group carry out criminal activities or taking part in the activities, but it seeks to avoid criminalising anyone from being unintentionally captured by it. Essentially an organised crime group is a group that carries out criminal activities and includes 3 or more people, without necessarily having to know each other. Only one criminal act is required to take place in England or Wales for it to be considered an offence.
Criminal activities for the purposes of this offence will include:
- An activity in England or Wales that represents an offence and could be punishable with imprisonment of more than 7 years
- An activity outside England or Wales that represents an offence in the country it was carried out, and would be an offence in England and Wales (given that it could be punishable with imprisonment of more than 7 years)
This offence is punishable by up to 5 years’ imprisonment. If you’re charged with this, it is a defence to prove that your participation was essential to prevent or detect crime. An example of how this could be applied would be for an undercover officer in an investigation.
How Tuckers Solicitors can help you with Organised Crime queries…
If you are looking for legal advice about Organised Crime and whether this could apply to you, please contact us on our usual contact details.
We are always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0845 200 3367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.