A second proactive policing team has been launched in Suffolk to tackle the high threat and harm issues including county lines activity and the supply of controlled drugs.
The Serious Crime Disruption Team (SCDT) to cover the east and west of the county has been established to complement the existing team that predominantly covers the wider Ipswich area to address drug supply and serious violence.
The SCDT core aim will be to disrupt serious and organised gangs whose criminal activity focuses on issues such as drug supply and harmful personal acquisitive crime such as robbery/burglary. They will also be available to support domestic abuse, child sexual abuse and serious sexual offences.
This newly formed team will fill a gap that existed previously between the CID teams across the force and the region-wide capabilities of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.
The SCDT will provide a resource which can investigate serious and organised criminality with a “cradle to grave” approach. The team will develop the relevant information and intelligence, conduct enforcement activity and then build the case to see the investigation through to conviction.
The team is composed of one Detective Sergeant, six Detective Constables, two police staff investigators and one digital support officer. These PSIs and digital officer will provide additional capability with digital media investigation used to recognise the online nature of much of this criminality.
The finance for the SCDT posts has come from funding from the policing precept rise in 2020/21 by the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, and ensures it meets the Police and Crime Plan objectives.
Since January 2020 the SCDT have made 37 arrests. There have been four separate investigations whereby the suspects have received custodial sentences totalling 28 years and they have undertaken 46 interviews, downloaded evidence from 135 devices and recovered over £200,000 in cash.
Previous significant success they have had include the jailing of three drug dealers, Rhyone Hinkson, Michael Martin and Mohamed Abdullahl to a total of 15-and-a-half years for a County Lines operation.
In another case Nik Easey, of Ipswich, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years after being caught with drugs and guns, including possession of cocaine worth £15,000. A third case saw a man jailed for eight years for robbery of a 79-year-old woman in Ipswich, in November 2017.
Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said: “To get this new team up and running is great news for the people of Suffolk and the Constabulary as it provides a further proactive resource to target the highest end criminals that operate in our communities.
“The SCDT has specialist skills and is equipped to pro-actively tackle force-wide and local policing priorities, while dynamically disrupting those that make the most financial gain out or create the greatest harm through serious criminality.
“As always we are keen to respond to the needs of local people to keep our communities safe and the public can take confidence from the proactive approach to tackling criminals that their local police force takes.”