How you can help us tackle Serious and Organised Crime
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It could be young people you’ve never seen before moving in with a vulnerable neighbour and having lots of visitors, or a new gang of people hanging around and intimidating others, both these examples happen in Northamptonshire and could be a sign of serious and organised crime (SOC).
Today is the start of a week of action tackling serious and organised crime and as part of their work, officers will be out and about speaking to the public about what SOC is and what they can do to support us in tackling the issue.
Gangs involved in drugs, violence and exploiting vulnerable people, including children, are operating in Northamptonshire.
Children as young as 10 are targeted by gangs to be drug runners. They soon rise up the ranks and become more emersed into gang culture, where carrying and using weapons is commonplace.
County lines gangs that move into new areas will often take over the homes of vulnerable people and use it as their base. The resident is left frightened and feeling helpless in their own home.
Chief Inspector Pete Basham is leading this week’s surge activity. He said: “Organised criminality is a business and can take many forms such as county lines gangs supplying drugs, cybercrime and fraud, labour and sexual exploitation and modern slavery.
“We are working hard with local partners to tackle the issues that come from organised gangs setting up shop in Northamptonshire but are reliant on the public’s help.
“We need you to tell us about what’s happening where you live. Has someone moved in with a vulnerable neighbour and is having a lot of visitors? Do you think people are dealing drug near where you live?
“If you have any suspicions about people acting suspiciously, please report it to us and we can take action.”
Chief Inspector Basham added: “Information from the public is vital to our ability to respond to these criminals and you can share information directly with us or via independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously.
“You may not see an immediate response from us unless a life is in danger, however, please be reassured that every piece of information given to us by the public helps us to build a case against those people causing a blight on our communities.
“Earlier this year we released the video below about how community intelligence helped our Northampton Neighbourhood Team take action against a drugs gang that was operating in St David’s. This is the type of action we can take if people tell us what’s happening.”
You can report concerns to us by:
Calling 999 if someone is in danger or a crime is taking place
Call 101 for non-emergencies
Visiting our website northants.police.uk
Speaking to a police officer or PCSO
Or you can share information anonymously with independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111 or online Crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information
If you want to find out more about what your local police officers are up to, please sign up for Neighbourhood Alert via northamptonshireneighbourhoodalert.co.uk
Some signs of county lines gangs operating in your area to look out for include:
An increase in visitors and cars to a house or flat
New faces appearing at the house or flat
New and regularly changing residents (eg different accents compared to local accent)