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Gangs and drugs are the top priority for Suffolk’s new serious crime unit

PUBLISHED: 20:31 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 09 October 2018

Suffolk Constabulary have dealt with thousands of hate crime offences this year. Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Constabulary have dealt with thousands of hate crime offences this year. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A drugs-gang crackdown in Suffolk is being launched by police with the announcement of a new serious crime team.

This new squad, the Serious Crime Disruption Team (SCDT), has been established specifically to tackle ‘high-threat’ crime such as gang violence, the supply of drugs, robberies - and the online criminal activity these crimes create.

The squad is designed to fill a gap between Suffolk’s criminal investigations team and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, which brought together the seven police forces in the East to thwart major crime.

DCI Jeff Yaxley, who will oversee the SCDT, said: “This new team is part of Suffolk Constabulary’s commitment to maintain proactive policing. This will ensure we use appropriate policing tactics to target those individuals who cause the most harm to communities.

“Intelligence is the life-blood of proactive policing and, in particular, this new team’s work. We are keen to respond to the needs of local people to keep our communities safe and I would encourage people to get in touch with us if they see something that seems suspicious or out of place so that we can take action and investigate this.”

This change to the force, planned since July, is designed to better serve communities in the county.

Calling their approach ‘cradle to grave’,

The SCDT will also be available to support domestic abuse, child sexual abuse and serious sexual offences.

The unit is adopting a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to cases - using the same officers to gather information, conduct enforcements and take investigations to trial.

Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said: “Whilst I am pleased the Constabulary has introduced this new team, I do believe that these drug-related issues cannot be dealt with by policing alone and I will continue to work with other public sector partners in the county as this needs a multi-agency approach.”

He added: “I think drugs, and the violence linked to this despicable trade, are the biggest threats facing Suffolk at the moment so I’m pleased to see this new team in place.

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