10 organized crime groups, 3 gangs and 3 human trafficking investigations in Bedford, police say Bedford News

Bedfordshire Police have “mapped” 10 organized crime groups and three gangs in the borough of Bedford, councilors have learned.

Chief Detective Inspector Katie Dounias, who leads the community side of serious organized crime at Bedfordshire Police, made a presentation to the Environment and Sustainable Communities Oversight and Review Committee last week (3 March).

She said: “I think historically serious organized crime has been seen as an area dealt with by specialist units.

Bedfordshire Police Headquarters

“But in fact, the type of crime really affects local communities and it’s the local communities who see it on their doorsteps and in their neighborhoods.

DCI Dounias gave councilors an overview of the situation in the borough of Bedford.

“We have 47 organized crime groups mapped [in Bedfordshire]ten of them are in Bedford.

“We have 10 gangs mapped in Bedfordshire, three of which are in Bedford.

“Nineteen county lines, ten of them in Bedford.

“And in relation to modern slavery, human trafficking, at this very moment we have 12 live investigations in Bedfordshire, three of which are in Bedford.

“This does not include data from Yarl’s Wood,” she added.

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The committee was told that the main type of crime in Bedfordshire for organized crime is drugs, followed by organized acquisition crime. These are burglaries, theft of motor vehicles, etc.

“These organized criminals operate in our communities, they exploit children, they target the most vulnerable, they ruin lives and destroy communities, while reaping the benefits,” said DCI Dounias.

“They spend their money on lavish lifestyles and it’s pretty disgusting to watch to be honest.”

“So in terms of community policing in Bedfordshire, it is recognized that community policing requires a new approach to meet the demands of conventional neighborhood policing priorities.

“We still have to respond to the demands and issues that really affect local communities.

“But we have to balance that with addressing these serious organized crime issues, which are sometimes not so visible,” she said.

DCI Dounias said the Force works within a framework to reduce the threat of serious organized crime, and added that it is about the resilience of communities, organizations and individual businesses in the face of this threat.

“So understanding what serious organized crime is, how to spot the signs of it, and what they can do to deal with it and mitigate its effects,” she said.

“And a lot about working in partnership, so local forces and authorities working as a connected system, so a holistic approach working in partnership with all of our public private and third sector partners.

“And of course, hoping that our local response to serious organized crime inspires the trust of the public and the communities in which we work,” she said.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-08 17:14:32

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