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Operation Vow: Protecting the public in Newark Town Centre

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Date: 
January 2019

Date: January 2018

The priority for the area over the next three months will continue to be Operation Vow. The overall aim of the operation is to identify, disrupt and enforce against drug supply/dealing and drug related behaviour and criminality in Newark Town centre and its surrounding areas. This in turn should contribute to a reduction in acquisitive crime.

The operation is structured into four basic layers, comprising:1) Intelligence gathering2) Intelligence review and analysis3) Intelligence development 4) Targeted, intelligence led actions and enforcement

All officers at Newark were individually briefed on the aims and objectives of Op Vow, and proactive activities have been a shared between all departments.

Intelligence led enforcement activities targeted towards offending has definitely made an impact in disrupting and unsettling criminality. We have received intelligence to suggested this. Whilst anecdotal information such as this is really important, a new analysis will be completed over the coming months to show the impact of the operation upon crime figures.

The intelligence picture has been consistently strong, allowing us to affect search warrants and conduct stop and searches. Warrants have been executed in Hawtonville and Balderton areas with a number of people arrested. Investigations like this can take months to progress to court due to the extensive phone download work that is undertaken to prove the supply offences. We will share the results once the suspects are charged. As well as enforcement action such as this, referrals have been made to partner agencies to help those involved in low level crimes move away from that life style.  A partnership day of action took place on Saturday 1st December and was a huge success from both an enforcement and engagement perspective. This saw a team of officers and a drugs detection dog on patrol. Twelve people were stopped and searched after the drugs dog indicted they may be in possession. Cannabis and cocaine was recovered from some of those searched and the operation was very well received throughout the area, this was filmed as part of the Body Cam Cops documentary series.

A review meeting has been held to look at our future planning and ensure we have the resources and process in place to continue moving forward, whilst also maintaining daily business. Proactive patrols and activities will continue to form the heart of Op Vow. Process are in place for the intelligence to be gained and shared with the new Neighbourhood Wardens employed by Newark and Sherwood District Council.

If you have an information please contact us on 101, via social media, directly via the contact page or anonymously to Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555 111. You can also complete an anonymous online report via the Crimestoppers website. As always the caveat stands, this priority is centred around Newark town centre, as that is the area we have identified as needing focus at this time. This does not take-away from any of the other issues and priorities in other areas and our beat team and partners are committed to all communities. You can get updates on the priorities for your areas by speaking to the Beat Manager and keeping up to date via social media.

February  update:

In my last blog I talked about a review
meeting to look at where we are at with Operation Vow. Following on from this I
made a very optimistic, but much needed, bid at force tasking for additional
resources during the National Crime Agencies week of intensification around
County Lines, which took place week commencing 21/01/19. The bid was supported
with a good argument based on extensive research, planning and evidence. My bid
has been agreed, in full. It amounted to additional staff: two intelligence
officers, 4 Sgts, 24 PC’s, Police dog and prisoner processing support. During
the week of intensification tasked officers conducted plain clothes patrols to
build our ever strengthening intelligence picture.  Four warrants were
executed. Four people were arrested for conspiracy to supply controlled drugs,
one of these people has been remanded to court. A quantity of suspected class A
drugs, cash, mobile phones and weapons have been seized as part of the
investigation.

‘County lines’ drugs operations involve urban
dealers expanding their crack and heroin business into small town markets,
operating remotely through the use of specific mobile phone numbers. The gangs
then exploit children and vulnerable people as couriers to move drugs and money
between the new market and their urban hub and also around the market towns.
The model means dealers can peddle class A drugs without having to visit their
markets – cutting their risk of being caught.  This keeps the true criminals
behind it detached from the act and less likely to take any responsibility.
These lines are at the very heart of high volume drug supply, and daily
exploitation of vulnerable people. We have been working very hard over the last
six months to disrupt this activity in our areas, investigations are underway
to bring the true offenders, hiding in their urban homes to justice. We have
teamed up with our local partners to ensure the vulnerable adults who are being
exploited, are supported away from this life style. Our investigations and
enforcement work continues. 

March Update:

Hard work never stops! Investigations
like this can take months to progress to court due to the extensive phone
download work that is undertaken to prove the supply offences. Our officers
have been investigating the existing offences whilst maintaining daily business.
The Sergeants have also been reviewing and developing the intelligence for
further enforcement action.  We will
share the results once the suspects are charged.