In January 2022, Spotlight produced a detailed report on the resourcing of UK law enforcement. The report, Closing the UK’s Economic Crime Enforcement Gap, was the result of six months of research and received widespread pickup in the media and Parliament – it continues to be widely quoted. We did significant Parliamentary work around this and it is likely to have contributed to the Foreign Affairs Committee calling for significant investment in the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in its June 2022 report.
Our work helped contribute to the political environment which resulted in the government announcing a new £10 million Combatting Kleptocracy Cell at the NCA in February 2022. Additionally, we highlighted the damaging impact on law enforcement bodies of adverse costs from failed Unexplained Wealth Orders. That contributed significantly to a new provision in the Economic Crime Act of March 2022 that protects agencies from costs in these cases. In February 2022, our front page work with the Financial Times highlighting poor enforcement of financial sanctions by the Office of Finance Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), contributed to the government introducing new rules to make it easier to impose civil penalties under the Economic Crime Act for sanctions breaches, as well as beefing up OFSI with increased staff.