Crime agency hires Defra's Freeman

The newly formed Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) is handing its top PR role to Kelly Freeman, deputy director of comms at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

As head of public affairs at 'the UK equivalent of the FBI', Freeman will promote the Government's fight against underworld bosses, communicating policies on drug smuggling, people trafficking and money laundering. She joins on 1 April and will report to director-general Bill Hughes, former director-general of the National Crime Squad.

The crime-busting body is being created from the merger of the National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service. Soca will also assume some of the remits of HM Revenue & Customs and the Immigration Service. It will be chaired by former MI5 director-general Sir Stephen Lander and employ around 5,000 investigators.

Plans for the agency were unveiled last year after concerns that existing measures against the drugs trade were not working. It has been designed to bring senior intelligence and security experts into frontline policing.

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