Scottish police have been given a new weapon in their fight against serious organised crime after the government supported the introduction of new serious crime prevention orders (SCPOs). The orders, which have come to be known as “super Asbos,” are specifically designed to crack down on Scotland’s top crime bosses and police forces will focus on the top 20% of local organised crime groups, the Herald has reported.
According to recently published figures, Scotland has about 225 organised crime groups with 3,300 members. The implementation of the new SCPOs was made the subject of a public consultation in 2013 and the government has now approved the introduction of the orders, leaving officials with the task of devising how they can be introduced.
The key objective of the “super Asbos” is to prevent criminal gang bosses from running their empires while in prison and after their release. This will be achieved by placing restrictions on travel, the amount of money these criminals are allowed to carry and the people they can associate with.
According to Assistant Chief Constable Ruaridh Nicholson, the new orders will help the police crack down harder on organised crime. In the past nine months, criminal gangs have been denied £62 million of business. The focus now is firmly on the top 20%, which means that the police will keep a close watch on 45 to 50 organised crime groups.
This year will also see Police Scotland step up its fight against organised crime facilitators, Nicholson added. These include accountants and lawyers assisting known gangsters in money-laundering activities.