National Crime Agency offers £223k for next DG

Law-enforcement body launches recruitment drive for permanent successor to Lynne Owens
Dame Lynne Owens, former director general of the National Crime Agency. Photo: Louise Haywood-Schiefer for Civil Service World

By Jim Dunton

12 Dec 2021

The National Crime Agency has begun its recruitment campaign to find a permanent successor to Dame Lynne Owens, who retired as director general in September.

It is offering a salary of up to £223,441 a year for the right candidate – in line with Owens’s £220,000-£225,000 salary bracket reported in the law-enforcement body’s annual report and accounts for 2020-2021.

Owens’s decision to retire followed her diagnosis with, and initial treatment for,  breast cancer over the summer. She had been NCA head for five years and nine months and was saluted by Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft and home secretary Priti Patel.

NCA economic crime lead Graeme Biggar was appointed as the agency’s interim director general effective from October.

The job description for the DG role said the willingness of organised criminals to embrace new technology had increased the complexity of the threat they posed and made criminal behaviour harder to predict as the world emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Strong and experienced leadership at the top of the NCA is more important now than ever before,” it said.

“As DG NCA you will have a pivotal role in UK and international law enforcement, and will be directly accountable to the home secretary. You will set the strategy for the NCA and wider approach within government and its partners to tackling serious and organised crime.

“You will need the confidence and drive to lead the agency through a period of significant transformation and inspire a workforce of approximately 6,000 people. You will role model integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.”

The job description said eligible candidates would have extensive experience of serious and organised crime threats. They should have served as a deputy chief constable of a UK police force or in a higher rank, or performed a role of “equivalent seniority” within the public or private sector.

It specified “extensive relevant experience of UK law enforcement and/or national security” as a must for the senior civil service pay band four job.

The DG can base themselves in London, Birmingham or Warrington, according to the candidate pack, but will need to travel to other UK and international offices. It specifies that the job is a five-year fixed-term appointment.

Applications will close on 3 January. Final interviews for shortlisted candidates are expected to take place in late February.

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