A new crime-fighting facility is to be created for the North East Regional Crime Unit thanks to £1million of government funding.
The new Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) premises will bring several law enforcement agencies together under one roof at a new headquarters as they tackle serious and organised crime.
Specialist teams from Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police forces; the National Crime Agency (NCA); and other law enforcement partners will lead the region’s response to a range of threats.
The facilities will enhance the unit’s capabilities on dealing with issues such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, organised illegal immigration, firearms, high value fraud, cyber crime, child sexual exploitation and terrorism.
Security Minister, Ben Wallace, made the announcement during a visit to Northumbria Police’s North Tyneside headquarters at Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend.
He said: “Serious and organised crime is corrosive and undermines the very fabric of our society.
“The new unit will enable the police and partner agencies to build on previous successes and provide a more efficient and effective response to the threat posed by highly sophisticated crime groups that infiltrate our communities and operate by fear and intimidation.”
Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “We are proud that the north east is being highlighted for the work we do to tackle organised crime.
“The Home Office funding will be crucial in helping us maintain the Regional Organised Crime Unit and will provide the officers within it a suitable base to continue the excellent work they deliver.
“Tackling organised crime is a priority for the region and all three forces work together with other agencies to help prevent organised gangs and criminals travelling through our region to commit crime.
“We have had a number of nationally recognised operations and, with the support of the Home Office funding, this sort of intervention can help keep our region safe.
“I want to commend the officers from Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland for their excellent achievements over the years since the launch of ROCU and long may it continue.”