Stronghold – fighting organised crime in partnership
With over 6,000 Organised Crime Groups and nearly 50,000 individuals involved, organised crime costs the UK more than £24 billion per year.
What is Stronghold?
Stronghold is Thames Valley Police making a commitment to seeing a reduction in levels of serious and organised crime in our region. Working closely with our partners in local authority, social services and the other emergency services, we aim to achieve better knowledge sharing and suitable resourcing to disrupt and prevent the work of organised crime gangs and provide safeguarding to the innocent victims caught up in the middle.
An organised crime group’s activities can cover different serious crime types, including;
- Child sexual exploitation and abuse
- Organised immigration crime
- Cyber crime
- Money laundering
- Economic crime
- Modern slavery and human trafficking (including for labour and sexual exploitation purposes)
- Organised acquisitive crime
Serious crime is defined by section 93(4) Police Act 1997 as crime that involves the use of violence, results in substantial financial gain or is conducted by a large number of persons in pursuit of common purpose, or crime for which a person aged 21 or over on first conviction could expect to be imprisoned for three or more years.
Thames Valley Police continues to work in line with the Governments Serious Organised Crime Strategy (opens new window) for tackling organised crime. The aim of the strategy is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests from organised crime by reducing the threat from organised criminals and reducing vulnerabilities and criminal opportunities. There are four main objectives:
- PURSUE - prosecuting and disrupting people engaged in serious and organised criminality
- PREVENT - preventing people from engaging in serious and organised crime
- PROTECT - increasing protection against serious and organised crime
- PREPARE - reducing the impact of this criminality where it takes place
How do you get involved?
Nobody knows their streets, towns and villages better than the people who live and work there. If you see something happening that is out of place, then you can contact us and know it will be dealt with seriously.
Be aware of some of the signs:
- Trafficking - A sign that it is occurring could be a house being used by a large group of people. Women are often brought into the UK illegally on the promise of real work only to be sold for sex.
- Cannabis factory – Those who set them up often tamper with electrical supplies or leave live cables exposed putting lives at risk. Profits go into producing cocaine and heroin.
- Card skimming - Organised crime groups can target cashpoint users as a way of obtaining personal information and stealing money.
- Cyber crime – fraudulent emails or phishing scams with the aim of getting personal details are often distributed by organised crime groups.
Although it may seem a trivial detail to you, to us, it could be the final piece of a much bigger puzzle.
You can report concerns to police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 (opens new window). You can also speak to your local authority about non-criminal matters and they can make a referral to police.