The UKFIU has embarked on an innovative new programme of digital communication and engagement with SARs regime stakeholders in the form of podcasts, videos, webinars, digital magazines, and increased social media interaction.
In line with the National Police Chief Council’s 2025 vision relating to the changing risks and opportunities of the digital world and looking at how law enforcement responds and adapts to the digital environment, there has been a recognised need for the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) to adapt and promote its online presence.
To enable this in 2020 the UKFIU embarked on an innovative new programme of digital communication and engagement with SARs regime stakeholders in the form of podcasts, videos, webinars, digital magazines and increased social media interaction.
All material is created for the purpose of being educational, to provide important UKFIU updates, to offer guidance on how to create good quality SARs and providing different perspectives on the SARs regime from various partners.
To date the UKFIU has issued 10 podcasts, with over 12,000 plays on various streaming sites such as Spotify, Audible, and Amazon Music. These have covered topics as varied as:
- An interview with NCA Director General Graeme Bigger on the work of the National Economic Crime Centre and how SARs can make a big difference in cutting serious organised crime;
- County Lines – how SARs are being used to tackle this criminality and the work of the UKFIU to identify this threat;
- Combatting modern slavery and human trafficking through the SARs regime, highlighting how reporters can assist law enforcement and help to safeguard victims;
- How the UKFIU works with overseas partners, ensuring that intelligence on money laundering and financial crime is effectively shared with international partners; and
- How SARs are a valuable source of financial information for safeguarding potentially vulnerable members of society from fraud.
The UKFIU magazine, SARs In Action, now has 11 issues available on the National Crime Agency website and has a readership of over 350,000. These magazines are aimed at: all law enforcement (including senior investigating officers, front-line police officers and police staff); SAR reporters; regulators; supervisors; trade bodies; government and international partners. Previous issues have focused on topics such as:
- Combatting the effects of corrupt elites; immigration crime and the small boats threat;
- The life of a SAR – every step from submission to law enforcement outcome;
- SARs analysis on COVID-19;
- Reporters’ approaches to fighting fraud; the illegal wildlife trade;
- Bribery and corruption; and
- UKFIU engagement with anti-money laundering groups.
In terms of videos, all UKFIU podcasts are now transcribed on the NCA’s official YouTube channel; also included are short films on the role of the UKFIU and direct recruitment campaigns into the unit.
With regards to digital reporter and partner engagement, over the past two years the UKFIU has hosted over 60 webinars for reporters and hosted around 30 for other stakeholders. This has been complemented on the ground with over 80 training sessions delivered to over 680 police officers in the use of Arena, a key software tool in the analysis of SARs, and over 110 one-to-one engagements with reporters over 2020-22.
The UKFIU’s social media platforms are proving to be very successful in terms of promoting such events and getting important messages and guidance out to stakeholders. Since joining LinkedIn in Quarter 4 of 2020 the UKFIU now has over 16,200 followers, and has over 2,300 followers on Twitter (@NCA_UKFIU). Please feel free to follow us on these platforms to be kept up-to-date on UKFIU work.
The UKFIU is always on the lookout for potential articles, podcast panellists and engagement opportunities with partners – if you would like to get involved, please contact the UKFIU’s Digital Media, Publications and Promotions Team at [email protected].