Disrupting and Dismantling Organised Crime
Targeting gang members and disrupting the criminal gangs that operate in Lancashire has continued to be a key focus throughout the last year.
Organised crime takes many forms and threatens both national security and local communities. Our specialist resources work tirelessly to target threat, harm and vulnerability.
I have joined officers on countless operations as we make life difficult for organised crime gangs (OCGs) and show that we are stepping up the fight to break up criminal networks, put doors through and seize the proceeds of crime.
I continue to support Lancashire Constabulary to utilise the full range of legislation and powers available.
Alongside strong enforcement that dismantles criminal gangs and puts members behind bars, I have continued to build up relationships between other enforcement bodies such as the National Crime Agency and North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, and partners through the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network.
Op Warrior is the Constabulary’s response to my Police and Crime Plan priority of disrupting and dismantling organised crime.
The operation is dedicated to bringing more offenders to justice as well as stripping them of their cash, cars and other assets. Not only are drug raids and arrests taking place on a weekly basis, but a high-profile advertising campaign has led to more information coming in from members of the public, leaving no place for offenders to hide.
On average, officers make 17 organised crime related arrests every single week, seize £55k in cash every single month and take 2 kilograms of class A and B drugs off our streets on a weekly basis.
Op Warrior targets both individuals and gangs involved in crime, as well as associated issues such as violence and intimidation, large scale drug supply, exploitation and fraud, all of which can cause serious harm to local communities.
As a result of our media campaign, drug trafficking and supply related intelligence submitted to Crimestoppers increased by 29% from November 2022 to January 2022 and overall calls to Crimestoppers related to issues targeted by Op Warrior increased by 8%.
A regular In the Know survey has shown a 6% increase in public confidence in Lancashire Constabulary compared to the previous 3-month period.
New Regional Organised Crime Unit Office
I have continued to strengthen relationships with the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), the team covering serious crime across the North West and supporting the work of individual forces including here in Lancashire.
In September 2022, a new satellite for the ROCU opened in Lancaster, to provide a home for one of the new serious and organised crime task forces which have been created as part of the national police uplift programme.
Their new regional base strengthens our relationships and capacity to tackle high level crime and supports the delivery of my Fighting Crime Plan.
The Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership (PLASP), which I contribute to, has continued to grow and bring together key stakeholders, as we tackle modern slavery across Lancashire and ensure businesses and local authorities play their part in spotting the signs and supporting police enforcement.
PLASP have run several roadshows featuring the Freedom Bus aimed at raising public awareness around the many issues of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, alongside bespoke training for including police new recruits, PCSOs, contact centre staff, NHS Staff, National Farmers Union, Street Pastors, Colleges and Universities.
My Office funded and hosted a tabletop exercise attended by over 50 partners. The feedback was extremely positive and has led to further collaboration and training.
PLASP are also developing a new Hope for Justice Hub in Lancashire which will house two full time outreach workers and a part time trainer. This facility has increased services across Lancashire for victims.
Alongside the work of the PLASP, Operation Aident has also been targeting exploitation and modern-day slavery, resulting in multiple arrests and charges and safeguarding of vulnerable individuals.
A significant amount of work continues to take place around the county to tackle fraud. This has included a networking event, hosted by my Office, with more than 40 partner organisations sharing best practice. A North West Fraud conference has also taken place, attended by more than100 delegates from across the north west police forces, focussed on victim support and safeguarding.
A campaign has also run with the support of Lancashire Victim Support and Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) to tackle Romance Fraud.
- Victim data – Reporting date 21/02/2022 to 19/02/2023
- 6222 – total victim reports received
- 5794 of those reports related to individual victims (428 relate to businesses, no action is taken)
- £20 million – total loss, average loss £4.5k
- 2764 victims requested victim support
- 3176 reported some kind of vulnerability as a result of the fraud
Lines I have continued to support Lancashire Constabulary, the North West ROCU and the National Crime Agency as they work to tackle county lines related crime in Lancashire.
In February 2023 Lancashire Constabulary took part in a dedicated national County Lines Intensification Week. As a result, 15 arrests were made across East Lancashire alone, as well as over £33,000 worth of Class A and B drugs being seized, including cannabis plants, cocaine and crack cocaine.
Multi-Agency Support Panels
Significant preventative work has been underway in schools, with Multi-Agency Support Panels (MASPs) highlighted young people at risk of criminal exploitation and gang-related culture for intervention. Our Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has financially supported the development of MASPs across the County.
Decrease in serious violence in targeted hotspot areas
Organised Crime Group disruptions
Members of the public reached by Operstion Warrior Social Media Posts
Reduction in presentations to emergency departments with knife/ sharp object assault injuries vs 2019/20
Stop and searches carried out, with 70% targeting illegal substances or offensive weapons
SOC-related arrests resulting in sentances totaling 425 year for convicted offenders
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