Cleveland Police operation set up to tackle organised crime shortlisted for national award
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A Cleveland Police operation which was set up to tackle organised criminality has been shortlisted for a national award that celebrates problem-solving initiatives.
Operation Arrow focused on identifying and disrupting organised crime groups (OCGs) as well as safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from exploitation in Middlesbrough.
It has seen the successful prosecution of 35 defendants, with 10 key members of an OCG recently receiving a combined total of 67 years in prison. A number of people at risk of exploitation have also been safeguarded.
The operation was just one of ten shortlisted for the 2023 Tilley Award out of a total of 115 submissions submitted by forces across the country.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector, David Glass, said: “The Operation Arrow team are honoured to have made it to this stage. This complex investigation utilised a collaborative problem-solving approach in response to exploitation concerns posed by an OCG within the Middlesbrough area through a unique approach which has since been adopted by other areas.
“The primary focus throughout the operation was to identify and effectively safeguard those at risk of exploitation. A total of 14 children and 24 vulnerable adults were safeguarded before we then tackled the OCG members responsible for the exploitation.
“A multi-agency strike phase in October 2022 saw the arrest of 35 people and the removal of nine County Lines linked to the OCG. We also carried out engagement opportunities to educate young people about the dangers of County Lines.
“I wish to thank Office Managers James Barnes and Janette Turnbull, the investigation team and partner agencies for their endeavours in keeping the people of Middlesbrough safe from harm while facing significant risks posed daily.”
Acting Detective Chief Inspector, James Barnes, said: “The Operation Arrow team are honoured to be shortlisted for the 2023 Tilley Awards. The investigation team, along with a number of key partner agencies, worked closely to make the operation a huge success.
“The operation was very much a problem solving and collaborative approach to concerns around organised drug supply and the exploitation of children in Middlesbrough.
“We looked to do things differently and considered a number of tactical options to make it a success when conventional approaches were proving unsuccessful.
“It was important we did everything we could, collectively, to safeguard vulnerable children and disrupt those who were causing them and others harm. I am extremely proud of those involved and the results it has achieved”.
NPCC Lead for Problem Solving and host of the National Conference, South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lauren Poultney, has commented on the shortlist: “I would like to congratulate all of our ten shortlist and thank everyone who entered a submission to this year’s awards.
“Each year the calibre of projects entered increases, and once again this year’s entries are amongst some of the best examples we’ve seen of problem solving methodology used in practice.
“This is testament to the work all police forces and our partners are doing to embed this into our ways of working and I’m pleased we are able to showcase and celebrate this via the Tilley Awards.
“I’m also pleased we have this year been able to change the format of the awards to allow the best problem-solving initiatives to receive recognition. As demonstrated through many of this year’s entrants, problem solving methodology can be used across all areas of policing and by removing the categories used in previous years, we are able to celebrate and showcase this on a national platform.
“I would like to wish all members of the shortlist good luck and I’m looking forward to finding out who the five winning finalists will be.”
The submissions will now be marked by a final judging panel to determine this year’s five winning finalists.
Each finalist will then be invited to present their projects at the National Problem Solving Conference in October, where the judging panel and audience members will vote for an overall winner.
The winning finalists will be announced on Monday 28th August.
Further information on the Tilley Awards and the National Problem Solving Conference are available here. You can also view copies of previous years’ Tilley Award projects on the Knowledge Hub.