Top copper Lynne Owens to lead National Crime Agency

Leaves leafy Surrey for London

Lynne Owens has been announced as the new director general of the National Crime Agency.

Owens, a former assistant commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police will now be leading that force's largest funding rival, the NCA, Britain's leading investigator of serious cybercrime.

The Home Secretary stated: "I am delighted to announce Lynne Owens as the new director general of the National Crime Agency. Her impressive career includes front line experience as well as complex national investigations and operations."

Owens, who is currently the chief constable of Surrey Police, has stated she was also "absolutely delighted" to be leading the agency, which has recently co-located with GCHQ in the face of difficult-to-track cybercrims.

"The threats to the UK from serious and organised crime are changing and the Agency will need to continue to build and flex its capabilities accordingly," she added.

"Whether it be stemming the availability of illegal firearms, the fight against organised immigration crime, the threat presented by those who abuse children or the growth in cyber and economic crime, the work required is significant and I have no doubt the Agency can continue to rise to that challenge," Owens announced.

Theresa May stated Owens' "strong track record of engaging teams and partners, along with her exceptional leadership skills, give me full confidence that she is the best candidate to lead the NCA and continue its vital work to tackle the full range of serious and organised crime threats, including cyber crime, firearms, money laundering and child sexual abuse."

The Home Secretary additionally thanked the former director general, Keith Bristow, for "leading and co-ordinating the UK’s effort to relentlessly tackle the most dangerous individuals and criminal groups that cost the UK more than £24 billion per year."

Bristow will retire in the new year, at which point Owens is expected to take up the post. ®

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