People across Northamptonshire are being urged to do all they can to help tackle serious and organised crime.
The plea has been made at the start of Northamptonshire Police’s latest week of action which forms part of a three-month campaign of intensive activity targeting the Force’s Matters of Priority.
This week is the third of 12 weeks of ‘surge activity’ which sees the Force focus on its priority crime areas – drug harm, serious violence, serious & organised crime and violence against women and girls.
The New Year push follows on from a hugely successful campaign last summer and will again see the Force working with partners across the county, with communities seeing heightened law enforcement, increased visibility and the execution of operational warrants targeting known offenders
Thousands of lives are damaged every year by serious and organised crime, which includes immigration crime, fraud, modern slavery, county lines drugs gangs and cybercrime.
Often criminals exploit vulnerable people, whether that’s to commit offences on their behalf, work illegally or to take over their homes from where they can operate.
Chief Inspector Sara-Louise Parrott is leading this week’s activity. She said: “Serious and organised crime can take many forms but the string that ties them all together is the impact it has on the victims, whether that’s someone who’s been trafficked into the country, someone who is being forced to host drug dealers in their home or someone who has been defrauded out of their life savings.
“Serious and organised crime is not a victimless crime and it’s taking place in Northamptonshire.
“Tackling those responsible is a matter of priority for the Force and this week we will be shining even more of a spotlight on the issue while also taking proactive action against those we believe are responsible for committing offences.”
Throughout the week specialist officers will be joining colleagues from our Neighbourhood Policing Teams and partner agencies to shine a spotlight on this insidious crime type.
Chief Insp Parrott added: “Not only will we be taking a proactive approach in tackling offenders this week, but we will also be engaging with local communities highlighting the issue of serious and organised crime and what they can do to help us tackle the problem.
“We know people are concerned about the anti-social behaviour and threats of violence that comes with county lines drug dealing, we know they are concerned about vulnerable neighbours and friends who may be targeted by gangs, including those involved in modern slavery and human trafficking.
“We want anyone who has any concern to contact us and tell us what you’re worried about, or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously.
“We are reliant on the public telling us what’s happening. If we know there’s a problem we can take action. The information you have could be the last piece of the puzzle we need to take action.”
In support of the activity, knife and firearms amnesties will be taking place across the county throughout the week.
During the surrender, we want people to hand in:
illegally held guns and ammunition
imitation firearms and air guns
other unwanted guns and ammunition including air guns and imitations
Tasers, stun guns, CS gas, etc.
firearms you may have been asked to hide for someone else
During the surrender period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession, at the point of surrender, and can remain anonymous.
Firearms and ammunition can be given up by calling Northamptonshire Police on 101 and making an appointment for the items to be collected.
You can report concerns about serious and organised crime 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
Alternatively, you can share information anonymously with independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111 or online.
If you want to find out more about what your local police officers are up to, please sign up to Neighbourhood Alert.
If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms contact police on 101, get in touch online at www.northants.police.uk, or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you are a licensed firearm holder and would like advice please contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 or visit our website.