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Success for North Yorkshire Police's Operation Odyssey
POLICE chiefs at a regional unit set up to tackle serious organised crime in Yorkshire say they are winning the fight.
Operation Odyssey was set up three years ago to provide investigative and specialist support to officers across the forces of Humberside, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
Latest figures show that between last October and March this year, arrests by the unit increased by more than 200 per cent and the team seized more than £700,000 worth of drugs.
The regional roads crime unit, which will feature on BBC One Motorway Cops later this year, also reaped rewards after uncovering £1.7 million-worth of class A and B drugs.
They stopped and searched 1,367 vehicles, searched 2,456 people and 226 premises, seized £399,600 in cash and £337,000 in stolen vehicles, seized £250,000- worth of counterfeit goods and £140,000-worth of cigarettes subject to tax evasion and issued 464 fixed penalty tickets to drivers.
In one operation the team of officers, acting on intelligence received from North Yorkshire, found £200,000 of Class A drugs when they stopped a vehicle outside the driver’s home. Two vehicles with a combined value of £73,000 were subsequently seized.
Det Chief Supt Clive Wain, regional operations commander, said: “We are sharing intelligence at a much more comprehensive level now between all four forces and partner agencies and this intelligence is our lifeblood. Sharing intelligence is the most effective weapon we have.
“We are developing all the time and we have made a significant impact on travelling criminals across some of our major route networks. We are going to develop and improve on these results over the next six and 12 months.”
In one arrest, officers assisting North Yorkshire Serious Crime Unit stopped a vehicle on the A1 and arrested two people who were found to be in possession of £10,000-worth of Class A drugs.
The four forces are implementing more than £18 million of cuts by merging functions including underwater response, human resources and the forensic support services.
Further savings of £4.8 million have been made by regionally managing suppliers’ contracts.