Organised criminals locked up for 1,000 years

Police forces have joined together to tackle organised crime
Police forces have joined together to tackle organised crime

Organised criminals including drug traffickers, ram raiders and fraudsters across the region have been jailed for a total of 1,000 years by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.

Comprising specialist officers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, the unit aims to dismantle and disrupt organised crime groups operating across the region.

Successful prosecutions have included a gang who carried out a series of ATM ram raids, numerous ‘courier fraud’ scammers and several networks of drug traffickers.

The latest to be jailed was a gang of 14 drug dealers who were locked up for a total of 74 years on Friday (2 October) for trafficking drugs across the eastern region. Those jail terms take the total of sentences passed since the inception of the unit in 2010 to 1,069 years.

Alongside the investigation role of the unit, ERSOU also has a range of other functions including the Regional Economic Crime Unit and Regional Asset Recovery Team to hit criminals where they feel it hardest – in their pockets.

Detective Superintendent Trevor Rodenhurst, who heads up the unit, said: “ERSOU continues to support forces across the region to tackle organised crime groups who are causing the greatest harm amongst our communities.

“We have a raft of specialist staff and capabilities to tackle the threat from organised crime in the eastern region.

“This is a significant milestone for the unit, but it is only the start. We have a number of investigations at various stages and the number of people sentenced in relation to our enquiries will continue to grow. We have arrested more than 400 people since the unit’s inception.

“The message should be clear – anyone coming into the eastern region to commit serious, organised crime, faces being arrested and put behind bars.”