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"top-slicing"?

Posted by Olya on June 07, 2006

What is the meaning and the origin of "top-slicing"?
It was used in reference to the creation of Serious Organised Crime Agency: "Britain, along with Belgium and Germany, has about the most decentralised system in the EU and so this represents a top-slicing of the policing function"

The dictionary (infoplease.com) explains "top slicing" as "mining of thick orebodies in a series of stopes from top to bottom, the roof being caved with its timbers as each stope is exhausted".
But it doesn't make the metaphorical usage clearer for me.