Home secretary Theresa May has launched a consultation paper that is likely to change how the government handles serious crime, including computer-related offences.
May said in the Reconnecting Police and the People document that one of its strategic goals is to strengthen the fight against organised crime in the UK and at its borders.
The announcement may mark the end of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) in its current form, despite its having been formed just four years ago.
May described current policing methods as "handcuffed by forms, red tape [and] central diktats resulting in a service that is not adapted to the modern age".
The proposed changes are also likely to see the final demise of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, which was disbanded in 2006 to make way for Soca.
The paper outlines ways to make local police across England and Wales more available, responsive, accountable and effective, and better value for money.
A new National Crime Agency, to be led by a senior chief constable, would harness the intelligence, analytical and enforcement capabilities of Soca, taking on the agency's responsibilities for co-ordinating internal and international efforts to fight cyber crime.
The move would also mean that any replacement for Soca would absorb its existing phone and internet surveillance powers.
May also suggests bringing the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and a new border policing unit under the same agency's remit.
The consultation earmarks the budget of the National Policing Improvement Unit (NPIA) for cuts as part of the ongoing austerity measures.
Plans for CEOP to go independent and the NPIA to expand would also be severely affected if the proposed National Crime Agency were to go ahead.
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