May 13,2008 00:00
LONDON -- The British version of the FBI has high rates of attrition and a low-level of arrests of key crime magnates since its inception in 2006, analysts say.
British officials established the Serious Organized Crime Agency in 2006 to coordinate policing and intelligence operations to target crime bosses but ranking officers are leaving "in droves" and only a fraction of the suspects on its target list faced prosecution, The Times of London said Tuesday.
Unnamed sources for The Times said the agency spent years going down the wrong track and found many of the figures on its list were minor players in organized crime.
Other sources say the organization is handicapped by a top-heavy management structure riddled with internal rivalries and 148 of the officers chosen specifically to serve in the agency left the unit.
Alison Saunders, who heads the prosecution office for England's organized crime division, said expectations for the agency were too high and pointed to a 90-percent conviction rate from its existing caseload.
"SOCA is still actively targeting the key criminals judged to be the most harmful to the U.K.," a spokesman for the agency told The Times.
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