National Crime Squad

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The National Crime Squad (NCS) was a British police organisation which dealt with national and transnational organised and major crimes. Formed in April 1998 after the amalgamation of six former Regional Crime Squads it merged with HM Customs National Investigation Service and the National Criminal Intelligence Service on 1 April 2006 to become the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The NCS reported directly to the Home Office and had nationwide and international jurisdiction. It did not handle security matters, referring such matters to the appropriate security service.

It primarily dealt with organised crime, major drug trafficking, murder for hire schemes, illegal arms dealing, human trafficking, computer and high tech crimes, money counterfeiting and laundering, extortion, kidnapping and murder relating to any of the above. Lastly, it augmented and supported regional forces throughout the United Kingdom.

Its police officers were seconded from police forces from England and wales, supported by directly recruited specialist and administrative police staff members. It was headed by a Director-General and had its own service authority. The first Director General was Roy Penrose, OBE QPM, and upon his retirement in 2001, William Hughes, CBE QPM became the Director General who then led the transformation into the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Trevor Pearce CBE QPM was a deputy director-general before his transfer as an Executive Director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (and later acting Director General of SOCA whilst the NCA was formed).

The NCS headquarters was at Pimlico in London, with three Regional Operational Command Units: Northern, Eastern, and Western with an extensive residential property estate plus other premises. Other units were the Financial OCU, the Paedophilia Unit, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, and the Immigration Crimes Team. The NCS consisted of 1,656 full-time personnel, including 5 Directors, 1,169 seconded police officers, and 280 civilian police staff.

The NCS was fictionalised in the television series NCS: Manhunt, and in Burnside, a spin-off of The Bill.