Vanguard officers making criminals 'feel the fear'
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Brand new policing teams, dedicated to going after the worst criminals on their patch, have already put some of the most prolific wanted people, suspected burglars and drug dealers behind bars in their first month of duty.
Named 'Vanguard', the units are intended to combine the very best of traditional and robust proactive policing, updated to be at the forefront of the modern service.
Officers on the three teams, which cover Forest of Dean and Gloucester; Cotswolds and Stroud; and Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, are skilled in complex drugs and burglary investigations and will be supporting local policing teams to solve more of the crimes impacting local communities.
Amongst the highlights so far:
Two men were arrested and charged in connection with an overnight ram raid in Lydney
A large amount of stolen property in the process of being sold was recovered at a lock-up in Newent and a man arrested
A man was arrested in connection with a spate of burglaries in Matson
A Cheltenham man wanted for six months in connection with stealing a car and running over a pedestrian was arrested, charged and convicted
A kilo of cocaine was seized following a warrant at an address in Cheltenham and three men charged with supply of class A drugs
£125,000 of cannabis was recovered in Tewkesbury prompting further investigations into the gang behind it
A suspected prolific thief in Stroud was arrested and charged with six offences
Five people were arrested, charged and then pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A drugs following separate proactive drugs stops in Stroud, resulting in the recovery of between £1000 and £5000 in cocaine each time
Two people were arrested, charged and convicted at court following the theft of a high value of chewing gum from a lorry in Cheltenham
The teams have gone far and wide to track down suspects, including Torquay, to arrest a wounding with intent suspect after a knife attack in Cheltenham.
So far, over 20 arrests have been made by the teams, who are also assisting colleagues responding to incidents in their local area.
Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said: "Thanks to increased recruitment over the last two years, we're now in a position to create these local proactive teams and ensure a stronger focus on solving the crimes that impact on your local communities.
"We expect these officers to be the teeth of our local policing areas, the tip of the spear. They have a very clear objective and that’s to apprehend and convict criminals. We expect the Vanguard teams to be breathing down the necks of those we know cause the most damage and harm in our communities. It is time for burglars, drug dealers and other recidivist criminals to be looking over their shoulders and feel the fear.
"Each local Superintendent will have the autonomy to direct their team to address the crime types most affecting their communities – that could be burglaries or other acquisitive crime, gang related violence or drugs. We want to have the maximum impact.
"The proof of this will come through action - we will relay the results to the local community at every opportunity and through every channel and we hope the Vanguard name will become synonymous with policing excellence."
Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said: “Driving down crime and keeping people safe is the reason I stood to become Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. I promised more police officers on our streets to help make that vision a reality, and I’m very pleased to see that commitment has led to the creation of these excellent, highly specialised teams, that are tackling our more dangerous local criminals.
“I’m a huge, huge fan of these Vanguard teams, and I’m very impressed by the results they’ve already secured in just one month. These highly experienced officers are focusing on the problems that blight local communities, catching, convicting and disrupting the criminals that are making lives a misery for victims and residents. I want them to send a message to residents that we care about the issues in their community, and a message to criminals, that you can expect to meet these teams very, very soon.”