Humberside Police update:
Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) are everyone’s business within Humberside Police and are a target area within Operation Galaxy. OCGs are groups of people working together with the intent and capability to commit serious crime regularly, often causing harm to people and businesses that contribute positively to their communities. They plan, co-ordinate and make decisions together to create a slick operation with defined roles from top to bottom, very much like you would have at a legitimate company.
Due to scale, number and effects OCGs have on everyday society, the Home Office recently recognised them as affecting more people, and more often than any other national security threat we face in this country. They are also estimated to be costing the UK at least £37 billion annually.
While many of us may recognise organised crime in cases such as the supply of drugs or underage grooming rings, OCGs operate in many more spaces.
Some examples are:
Whilst it can be a frightening reality that OCGs are all around us, we and many partner agencies work together on a daily basis to tackle them at all levels, preventing them from being able to disrupt and cause damage to our communities. Operation Galaxy is giving us even more of an opportunity to put pressure on these groups to disband and stop their criminality, through high visibility patrols in their operating areas, warrants for their operating bases and the seizure of their property.
Detective Chief Inspector, Iain Pottage, from our Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: “OCGs are one of the force’s and Operation Galaxy’s priority areas and it’s a real team effort across many areas of the force and other agencies in terms of taking them down.
“Our neighbourhood officers play an important role in protecting communities from the effects of OCG activity. On their patrols, they will engage with the public to establish hotspot areas to target, which aim to deter criminals from operating there; this is something that has become a focus area as part of Operation Galaxy.
“They also often go into schools to educate young people about what OCGs are and how much of a negative impact they can have on their own lives and lives of those within their community. It’s crucial to engage with children about topics like these throughout their life as it makes them less likely to become a victim, or a perpetrator.
“For larger OCGs which are affecting people across the full force area, or beyond, community based OCG teams, the specialist command and major crime teams play a larger role. This may be with covert surveillance operations, strategic intelligence-led enforcement or working with partners such as the National Crime Agency, Environment Agency, city councils or Customs to build thorough cases, targeting those specifically leading the operations, and trickling action down the chain to bring the full group to justice.
“Dismantling a very sophisticated, intelligent and profitable OCG can take months, or even years. We understand how much pain these groups can cause at different levels, whether that’s taking over a public park meaning you can no longer enjoy that space, encouraging your children or other family members to join their group, or committing offences against you. This is why we are cracking down on these groups under Operation Galaxy. This action may be through high visibility patrols, intelligence gathering, warrants, stop and searches or proactive operations.
“Following any operation, we offer a wraparound service with city councils, social services or other relevant agencies to ensure the safety of victims of any OCG-caused crime. Our neighbourhood teams will often monitor and engage with vulnerable victims to make sure they feel safe and supported, and reassurance them that there’s no further threat to them.
“OCG operations are always ongoing and we would encourage anyone who thinks they may have information about any criminal activity linked to organised crime to come forward and tell us. Whilst it may seem like in some cases we don’t act immediately, this may be because your information plays an integral part into a larger ongoing investigation.
“Passing us information can be done by calling our non-emergency number 101, or if you would prefer to stay completely anonymous, through contacting independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
To keep up with Op Galaxy results and more features like this about the teams working behind the scenes, follow our @humberbeat social media channels or sign up to My Community Alert.