Experts share best practice to beat organised crime (17 Oct 2017)

Ocg _1Agencies from across West Yorkshire have shared best practice on how to help spot the signs of organised crime in an event in Wakefield.

Senior Officers have said they want to 'join the dots' between partners to help crack down on serious criminals after holding the recent event at Wakefield District's headquarters.

The conference was one of a number being held across the force to examine the issue and how partners such as housing agencies and the Environment Agency can assist officers by pointing out the signs of criminal behaviour.

Key subjects discussed included good practice in collecting evidence, what organised crime looks like nationally and the financial impact it can have on local economies.

Attendees included Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson, Wakefield District Housing and Wakefield Council, as well as national law enforcement experts in dealing with organised crime groups.

Ocg _2Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, District Commander of Wakefield Police, said: "Organised crime may well not affect many of us in our day to day lives but clearly it does exist in West Yorkshire, just as it does in other parts of the country.

"We have a capability in the District to deal with identified organised groups and also work closely with our colleagues in Protective Services Crime to enhance our local approach.

"This conference was a great opportunity for us to share best practice with partners and give them the tools with which to educate their staff about how to spot the signs of organised criminal behaviour.

"What we need and want to do is join the dots between agencies so we can disrupt these people from operating in communities.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Tackling serious and organised crime is similar to other community safety and policing issues in that we need everyone's help to identify and stop it.

"We need to make sure that we are accessible so that partners and the community know how to pass information on. This was a very productive meeting and I look forward to working more closely together with a range of local and national partner agencies to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe, which can often mean Proceeds of Crime assets also being stripped from organised criminals."

Detective Inspector Dave Watts of Wakefield District CID, added: "There are many signs that we have been teaching colleagues from partner agencies to look out for, which could be tell tales of organised or other types of crime.

"These could be drugs paraphernalia left in houses to signs of multiple occupancy in houses such as a number of mattresses on floors, perhaps suggesting the premises has been used for human trafficking.

"If we can train people from partner agencies to pick up on these signs and report them, that will give us a head start in intervening that much sooner."

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