Amber Rudd’s announcement of a new national economic crime centre for the UK fails to address glaring holes, say the representatives of four organisations
The new national economic crime centre is to be welcomed but the home secretary’s announcement (Report, 11 December) fails to address glaring holes. Large companies that commit economic crimes cannot be held to account under current laws. Amber Rudd’s failure to announce reforms to the UK’s legal framework is a serious omission. Meanwhile, non-economic crimes by companies – such as deaths and injuries in their operations or supply chains – have not been addressed at all, making it next to impossible for those affected to get justice.
Prosecutors at both the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service have argued that reform is essential if they are to hold companies to account. The Bribery Act offers a legislative precedent that a new law on corporate liability could adopt – making a “failure to prevent” wrongdoing a criminal offence. We believe the government should now ask the Law Commission to take this work forward.
Fiona Gooch Senior policy adviser, Traidcraft Exchange
Marilyn Croser Director, Corporate Responsibility Coalition
Eleanor Nichol Deputy director of corruption campaigns, Global Witness
Susan Hawley Policy director, Corruption Watch