HONOURS: Leighton Buzzard woman’s MBE for leading the fight against economic crime

Leighton Buzzard news
Leighton Buzzard news

A Leighton Buzzard woman who is leading the fight against ecomomic crime has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours.

Emma Smith has spoken of her pride at being recognised for her work at the National Crime Agency – at an early point in her law enforcement career.

Emma – who joined the NCA from the Home Office in 2014 – said she was stunned to hear she had received the MBE for her work in creating an innovative intelligence sharing capability between law enforcement and the financial sector, which has led to over 80 arrests.

She said: “I originally joined the agency on secondment and have only been in the public sector for the last six years – it is wonderful to receive this award.

“I always associated honours with something you get at the end of your career.”

Having originally trained as an accountant, Emma worked in the private sector before deciding to become a public servant “because I wanted to make a difference”.

She is currently the NCA’s head of Partnerships and Threat Reduction and has worked on a string of initiatives to reduce economic crime which have improved the understanding of the true scale of money laundering and the methods used by criminals to exploit the UK’s financial system, one of the priority serious and organised threat areas.

Emma said: “This is a very broad role with a lot involved and I love my work.

“At this agency I feel I am in a place to make a difference in the fight against serious and organised crime – receiving this award is a huge honour.”

NCA director General Lynne Owens said: “Emma has made a significant difference in our fight against economic crime, leading the way in our important relationship with the private sector.

“The projects in which she has been involved, including the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Team (JMLIT), show the value of close multi-agency working and the results speak for themselves. She is someone who has shown a tangible ability to think differently and exercise determination in overcoming organisational barriers. I congratulate her on receiving an MBE.”