Protect: tackling serious and organised crime together.

West Mercia's Protect campaign seeks to tackle serious and organised crime (SOC) and the harm it causes in our communities.

Working closely with our partners, Protect will ensure we are in the best possible position to pursue, prevent, protect and prepare against organised crime groups.

We want to empower and engage our local communities as we believe they will play an integral part of the solution in tackling SOC.

We have therefore established Local Policing Priority Teams (LPPTs) to target problems specific to your local community, be that relating to drugs, burglary, modern day slavery, economic crime or fraud.

Using new ways of working we will relentlessly pursue those involved to disrupt and dismantle their criminality, making sure they are not just put before the courts but also stripped of their ill-gotten gains.

We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities from harm and know that tackling serious and organised crime will play a big part in this.

Over the coming months, we will be highlighting a range of activity and operations taking place. You can keep an eye on the progress of the campaign on our Facebook and Twitter social media channels. We'll be using the hastag #Protect on Twitter.

The four Ps

Our broad-ranging campaign comprises four key areas of activity:

  • Pursue - prosecuting and disrupting those involved in SOC
  • Prevent - stopping individuals from becoming involved in SOC
  • Protect - increased levels of protection against SOC
  • Prepare - reducing the impact of SOC where it occurs

Pursue

  • Prosecute and disrupt people engaged in serious and organised criminality.
  • Establish strong, effective and collaborative organisations.
  • Develop our capabilities.
  • Identify perpetrators.
  • Improve our own capabilities and our co-operation with others.
  • Use and apply legislation effectively.

Prevent

Prevent people engaging in serious and organised crime.

  • Raise awareness of the reality and consequences.
  • Intervene to stop people being drawn into serious and organised crime.
  • Deter people from continuing in serious and organised crime.
  • Understand the pathways into serious and organised crime.

Protect

Increase protection against serious and organised crime.

  • Identify and protect people at risk of becoming victims.
  • Improve protective security at the local level.
  • Protect our borders.

Prepare

Reduce the impact of criminality where it takes place.

  • Make better use of existing programmes
  • Understand early intervention strategies and vulnerabilities
  • Share information at the earliest opportunity, take proactive stance

Aims

  • Increased problem-solving approaches being taken to tackle serious and organised crime.
  • Increased reporting of offending and individuals by the public and partners.
  • Increased community engagement with partners in relation to serious and organised crime.
  • Increased public confidence and positive feedback.
  • Reduced levels of offending.
  • Increased operational activity to tackle the crimes.
  • Increased intelligence coming in, being processed and acted on accordingly.

Vulnerable people

Children

The Children's Commissioner estimates that around 1.3 million children living in England may have been sexually abused by the time they reach the age of 18.

Children are being exploited by criminal gangs as drug runners, and in some cases they form a relationship with criminals and can become victims of sexual violence.

Modern slavery and human trafficking

Coercion, violence, threats and deception are used to manipulate and control victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The trafficking of adult victims into conditions of labour exploitation continues to increase.

Drugs

There were 952 heroin or morphine deaths in England & Wales in 2014, a two thirds increase since 2012.

Crime associated with cocaine is very often violent and exploitative; it has links to the criminal use of firearms, knife crime within criminal gang culture and exploitation of young and vulnerable people.

Labour traffickers operate across the UK and exploit workers in low skilled areas of work such as nail bars, car washes, cleaning services, seasonal agricultural work and off shore fishing.

How you can help

Learn to spot the signs of serious and organised crime.

Serious and organised crime can include but is not limited to:

  • car key burglary
  • child sexual exploitation
  • drugs and firearms
  • modern day slavery
  • money laundering
  • online/economic fraud

If you have concerns about these crimes in your local community, report it.