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Viewing cable 08LONDON1992, SURVEY OF U.S./UK LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08LONDON1992 2008-07-31 15:03 2011-02-04 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
VZCZCXRO1404
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHLO #1992/01 2131502
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311502Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9347
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBL/AMCONSUL BELFAST PRIORITY 1092
RUEADAT/BUREAU OF ALCOHOL TOBACCO WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEABND/DEA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADRO/HQ ICE DRO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIAO/HQ ICE IAO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHFJUSC/HQS US CUSTOMS SERVICE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJF/INS HQINT WASHDC PRIORITY 0125
RUETIAA/NSA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNSE/US SECRET SERVICE WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 001992 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2018 
TAGS: KCRM CJUS UK
SUBJECT: SURVEY OF U.S./UK LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION 
FINDS PROBLEMS ARE MANAGEABLE 
 
LONDON 00001992  001.2 OF 002   

Classified By: ACTIING ECON COUNSELOR JOHN MCNAMARA, REASONS 1.4 (B) an d (D).  

1. (C/NF)  Summary:  U.S./UK law enforcement cooperation is wide ranging and robust.  It is beset, however, by the sort of complications found in most international programs, compounded perhaps by a false assumption on both sides that "they are just like us."   Embassy London's Law Enforcement Working Group recently surveyed its member agencies for issues of divergence with their UK counterparts.   While sections generally praised the professionalism and dedication of their homologues, they identified certain issues of concern.  The most prominent UK agency mentioned in the survey, the two year old Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), simultaneously announced its own internal review of its procedures.  The following key findings are for information only; Embassy elements believe the issues identified can be worked at a local level and do not seek Washington engagement with the UK Government at this time. The full text of the survey can be found on the State Department's classified intellipedia portal for the UK XXXXXXXXXXXX in the Key Documents section.  At the same site are annexes describing the structure of UK law enforcement bodies, and the U.S. agencies comprising the London Law Enforcement Working Group, which readers may find useful primers.   End Summary  Key Findings:  Institutional Issues: 

 2.  (C/NF) The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is primarily an intelligence agency, less focused on law enforcement.  It has reduced personnel and resources available for urgent law enforcement matters.  The intake process for cases is not efficient: it is excessively dependent on intelligence reports.  SOCA is slow to disseminate information to operational units.  As a consequence, U.S. law enforcement agencies frequently turn to City of London Police for financial crimes.  SOCA also suffers from a lack of personnel to perform intrusion related cyber crimes, but London's Metropolitan Police has taken up some of that slack.  

3. (C/NF) Other agencies were rated more effective.  Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center provides generally effective cooperation.   UK laws on protection of convicted pedophiles and sex offenders, however, impedes U.S. customs and visa work.   The London Metropolitan Police Service provides strong support to U.S. Law Enforcement.  Its International Liaison Section, however, does not have a direct contact with the RSO Office.  This could prove problematic in threat situations.  The Joint Border Op Center works cooperatively with US counterparts.  However, the UK does not maintain a center comparable to the Transportation Security Ops Center.  Legal and Procedural Issues  

4. (C/NF) Lack of effective plea bargaining options hampers intelligence collection regarding terrorist and criminal organizations.   Intercepts are utilized only for intelligence in criminal cases.  There is greater scope for intercepts in terrorism investigations; but it cannot be used as evidence, although the Home Office is giving consideration to the use of intercepted information as evidence at trial. UK agencies have only limited authority to charge offenders overseas.  Exceptions include travel for the purpose of child exploitation.   The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is sometimes invoked inappropriately for criminal records, records in possession of investigative agencies, or interview requests.   The handling of Classified Information  by both  LONDON 00001992  002.2 OF 002   the US and the UK can also complicate work.  Intelligence is often sanitized and classified at a lower level to facilitate exchanges.  General criminal intelligence is often "Classified" as confidential, when it is only sensitive/law enforcement sensitive (LES).  This hampers the ability to use, share, and process the information.  Finally, privacy rights, data protection, and human rights lead to inconsistent cooperation, dependent upon individual officers' interpretation of the UK's Data Protection Act.  The UK Border Agency, for example, invokes human rights concerns as justification for deportation of Legal Permanent Residents to the U.S., instead of to the country of origin.  Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX TUTTLE