Crime fighting team nets more than 100 arrests

PUBLISHED: 12:34 10 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:19 10 April 2012

Archant

Drugs, weapons and cash seized by specialist crime team - Zephyr.

A specialist crime fighting team made up of officers from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary has made more than 100 arrests.

Since Zephyr, the regional serious organised crime team, was set up more than 70 people have been arrested and charged while the other remain on bail pending further enquiries.

The offences range from conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering to distraction burglary and firearms offences.

The head of Zephyr, Superintendent, Nigel Rock said: “These are fantastic results which demonstrate the impact Zephyr is already having in the South West and beyond.

“Over the past year we have disrupted several significant organised crime groups who have caused harm to our communities. As well as placing offenders before the courts we are using the confiscation legislation available to us to ensure that crime does not pay.”

The team is made up of officers and specialist staff from Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire. Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall, and Dorset.

Officers have seized more than 20kg of Class A drugs, 10kg of Class B drugs and more than 50kg of cutting agents commonly used by drug dealers to dilute substances and increase profits.

Weapons, fraudulent documentation and £220,000 in cash has also been recovered.

The team works closely the Borders Agency (UKBA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and Trading Standards.

Zephyr also has a financial investigation team which seeks to strip criminals of their assets and have confiscated £3.5million and have £4.4million under restraint.

Superintendent Rock added: “Criminal groups are fluid, flexible and opportunistic and we will not allow them to destroy our communities. Public safety is of paramount importance to us. We want communities across the region to feel confident about coming forward to help identify these crime networks, secure in the knowledge that we’ll do something about it.”


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