It’s 2pm at Stockton Police HQ and the Proactive Team gather in the briefing room to see what they will be tasked with for their shift.
“We’ve got three suspects to get in,” Sergeant Darren Williamson tells his team, “once we’ve got them in, we’re going to do some proactive patrols in Middlesbrough and Stockton and get some stop searches done.”
Based on intelligence, the team disperse in their groups and head out to target addresses across the Cleveland area looking for outstanding suspects.
After arresting two suspects, the team head into Stockton town centre to carry out proactive patrols in hotspot areas which are known to be high in crime or serious violence.
They stop and chat with residents, many of whom they know by their first name, and stop search a number of people before heading out to another hotspot area.
While driving to the next location, officers pull over a suspicious vehicle and arrest the male driver on suspicion of drug driving.
Before long, they’re back out conducting more patrols in the community - but this is just a snapshot of what the Proactive Team does during one shift.
Since its inception in November 2022, the team has made more than 475 arrests and conducted more than 450 stop searches over a 12-month period.
More than 30% of those stop searches have been positive in relation to recovering drugs or weapons which is above the national average.
Sergeant Darren Williamson said: “Our aim in the Proactive Team is to arrest outstanding suspects in a timely and efficient manner while proactively seeking out those who carry weapons and deal drugs within our communities.
“By conducting stop searches in the right places at the right times, which have been identified as being areas for high crime or serious violence, we've been able to reduce crime in these areas, increase public confidence and make our communities safer.
“Information from the public is invaluable so if you see anything suspicious, please contact Cleveland Police on 101 with any information or concerns. Independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by phone on 0800 555 111.”