A joint operation to tackle criminals took place across the South East of England

Thames Valley Police has joined with a number of police forces across the South East to combat criminals who are exploiting the major road and rail networks to carry out offences.

The three day operation, which ran from December 1-3, involved Thames Valley Police working alongside the Metropolitan Police, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, City of London Police and British Transport Police.

Officers from the forces’ proactive and roads policing teams worked together patrolling the road and rail networks, supported by a joint intelligence team who also monitored ANPR cameras across all force areas to quickly identify and intercept vehicles and individuals of interest.

As a result of this activity, a total of 169 people were arrested on suspicion of offences which included possession with intent to supply drugs, possession of offensive weapons and being concerned in the supply of drugs. Over 32 weapons and 25 vehicles were also seized as part of the operation. Two stolen cars and stolen plant machinery were part of these recovered vehicles.

Superintendent Amy Clements, who led the operation, said: “This has been a really successful operation. We know that many organised offenders use the major road and rail networks across the South East of the country to travel between different force areas and commit crimes.

“It has been really beneficial for all of the forces involved in this operation to build on existing relationships to work together to combat offenders who work to exploit victims across the region.

“Our teams patrolled the road and rail networks and used intelligence including ANPR cameras to identify those who we believe have been committing criminal offences and crossing police force borders in an attempt to evade capture.

“Let me be clear, this sort of organised criminal activity is not tolerated and offenders should know that police forces work together to disrupt them and to prevent them from disrupting our communities. We will continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities.”

Information from our communities is vital in identifying and intercepting these serious criminals so please tell us if you notice that seems something that just doesn’t seem right. You can report a crime or suspicious incident online or by calling 101.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.