Police join forces to help make 198 arrests in three-day operation across the south east

Officers patrolled the road and rail networks to spot those believed to be committing serious offences and crossing police force borders to evade capture0

By Hannah Richardson
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 7:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 7:04 pm

Thames Valley Police has joined with other police forces across the south east to combat criminals who are exploiting the main road and rail networks to carry out offences.

Officers from Thames Valley, Surrey, Hertfordshire, the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police were involved in the three-day initiative, which ran from January 11 to 13.

The operation used automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology and police intelligence to target vehicles on arterial roads and motorways.

The road network is often used to run ‘county lines’ drug operations, so the operation focused on tackling offenders involved in drug-related harm, serious violent offending and high harm as well as serious acquisitive crime.

The operation resulted in 198 arrests, including arrests for possession with intent to supply drugs, possession of an offensive weapon and robbery.

A total of 69 vehicles and 26 weapons were also seized across the five forces, as well as a large quantity of drugs.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Alexander, from Thames Valley Police, said: “This has been a very successful three-day operation.

Thames Valley Police took part in a joint operation

"Officers from a number of police force areas were able to pull together their resources and proactively police our road and train networks to disrupt and detect some of our most serious criminal offenders.

“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.

“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.”

Thames Valley Police said information from communities is vital in identifying and intercepting these serious criminals.

A spokesman said: "Please tell us if you notice something that just doesn’t seem right.

"You can report a crime or suspicious incident online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or by calling 101.

"Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111."