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 Police launch 'Op Sentinel' to combat serious and organised crime


A major new initiative has been launched to target serious and organised crime across the region – and bring offenders to justice.

Operation Sentinel today sees Durham Constabulary, Northumbria Police and Cleveland Police join forces in a defiant stand against a whole range of offences – from drug dealing and burglary, to cyber-crime and fraud.

As well as targeting offenders who look to profit from the misery of their victims, the operation will also work towards preventing this type of activity from taking place.

The three forces will be working in unison alongside NERSOU, the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit, to utilise their skills and expertise.

Officers will be seizing goods, carrying out warrants and targeting offenders as part of Sentinel’s ongoing crack-down against serious and organised crime.

And to show they mean business, a seized Ford Ranger has been badged up under the Sentinel banner to show that the forces will take a hard-lined approach in the fight against suspected serious and organised crime activity.

Durham Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Dave Orford said: “It is our duty to protect people from the devastating consequences serious and organised crime can have on lives.

“Organised criminal gangs don’t see borders and often travel across the region to commit crime and wreak havoc.

“The launch of Operation Sentinel is a way for all three forces to further come together in a new show of defiance against serious and organised crime, bringing together our expertise, technology and skills to disrupt these criminal gangs. We must stay one step ahead and Operation Sentinel helps us to send a very clear and powerful message to those who think they can get away with targeting the communities that we serve – we will track you down, take your assets from you and put you behind bars.

“As well as pursuing offenders, Sentinel is also about ensuring we do everything we can to prevent people becoming victims in the first place. This includes putting activity in place to disrupt organised crime and also through education.”​

Nationally, organised crime is seen as one of the greatest threats to communities because of the harmful effect it can have on everyone.

Organised crime is anything which is planned, coordinated and conducted by people working together for financial gain.

As part of the launch of Sentinel, we will be coordinating activity across the region. Stay tuned for updates.

Catch us on BBC Look North and Tyne and Wear TV tonight.