Proactive Roads Crime Team getting big results


9 Sep 2021

You may have noticed in recent months there have been many articles mentioning our Roads Crime Team. Formed in January 2020, Humberside Police’s specialist Roads Crime Team may be a relatively new unit, but they are certainly continually proving their worth.

Distinct from the Roads Policing Team who deal with road-traffic collisions and enforcing traffic legislation, the Roads Crime Team utilises force intelligence systems to proactively target people and vehicles involved with all types of criminality, including Organised Crime Groups (OCGs).

The Roads Crime Team utilises pre-emptive stops, meaning that criminals are halted before they realise they are being followed. Tactical Pursuit and Containment (TPAC) methods mean criminals are more likely to submit easier, reducing repair costs to police vehicles. These element-of-surprise tactics also reduce the need for pursuits, ensuring the safety of other road users.

Targeting drug dealers, money launderers and thieves, the Roads Crime Team uses prior knowledge built up from intel to head-off criminals bringing drugs, weapons and proceeds of crime into our area.

With on-board technology that enables the team to locate their colleagues as well as suspect vehicles, the team can hunt in packs, reacting immediately to situations without relying on intermediary communications.

Central to the unit’s ability to cover our area is their fleet of vehicles. Working with marked and unmarked cars that are all in the region of 300bhp, the team – led by Sgt Will Knapp – works with on-site technicians to create bespoke vehicles that are pioneering the latest technology.

Drugs are a problem across the country and it can seem that little is being done to combat it but, as Sgt Knapp says: “Just because you haven’t seen us at the address, it doesn’t mean we haven’t targeted the people responsible.

“It may be that to make the biggest difference we have to take a different approach.

“We combine the information you share with us with intelligence gathered by our own teams and other forces to plan targeted strikes.”

This approach gets the team impressive results, and it is only a team of six – although they are ably assisted by two canines.

In their first year, the Roads Crime Team ensured £3million of drugs failed to reach their intended destination, including £1.6m of Class A and Bs. To date this year, the team has overseen the seizure of nearly £700k of property and cash, in addition to further drugs hauls.

These results speak for themselves and have caused criminals to try changing their tactics. This disruption to OCGs shows how effective the Roads Crime Team has been.

The stats are impressive enough, but cases the Roads Crime Team has worked on have hit the headlines recently, really driving home the importance of the unit in tackling serious and organised crime in the Humberside region.

Making the headlines

The team was at the forefront of a combined operation which included partners that spanned the UK, Europe and the US. Following shared intelligence, Roads Crime officers stopped a vehicle containing members of an international drugs gang. On searching the vehicle, more than £1.6million of drugs were recovered.

Recently, they became aware of a vehicle that intel showed was linked to the supply of drugs. The team was able to quickly dispatch and request the speeding vehicle to stop, which it did – but not before the occupants threw a bag of drugs from the window. A large amount of cash was found in the vehicle and the occupants were arrested for possession with intent to supply and money laundering.

Another impressive result occurred when the team stopped a vehicle driving at excessive speed. After the surprised driver was forced to stop and the vehicle searched, he later pleaded guilty to a range of drug and driving offences.

But it is not just on our major roads that the team operates. Tracking a group of cannabis growers to Holderness, the team was able to catch the group in the act. As a result, hundreds of thousands of pounds of drugs were taken off the street.

It’s not just four wheels that help the team catch their targets; their canine members play a crucial role, too. With the vehicles set up to allow the dogs a quick getaway, they track wanted people who have decided to flee from their vehicles and chase them down in seconds.

“It’s great to know we’re helping protect the people of northern Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding and making our communities safer,” added Sgt Knapp.

“The work we do targets the people who cause the most harm to us and our communities, and we hope that word is getting out that Humberside is not a place where you can get away with these crimes.”

There really is no escaping our Roads Crime Team. Their effectiveness is summed up in the way Organised Crime Gangs are being forced to change their methods in order to keep trafficking drugs, money and weapons in and out of our region. But the team is more than up for the challenge, and continually changes its approach to gathering and acting on the intelligence.  

For all the latest news from the Roads Crime Team, follow @HumberbeatRoads on Twitter and look out for #RoadsCrimeTeam.

If you are concerned about crime in your area, let us know. You can speak to your local team, call our non-emergency number 101, or direct message us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would rather not give your name, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.