Precept funded Sentinel teams hit 300 arrest mark in under a year

Suffolk Constabulary’s team dedicated to cracking down on criminals, protecting local communities and tackling cross-border criminality has made over 300 arrests in less than a year.

The three Operation Sentinel teams, active since late May last year, provide enhanced coverage of Suffolk’s road network to proactively disrupt serious and organised criminal activity as well as increasing police visibility.  The 319 arrests have been made (from 28 May 2019 up to 30 April 2020), for a variety of offences including possession with intent to supply drugs, fraud offences, handling stolen goods, possession of offensive weapons, attempted robbery and failing to appear before court.

The Sentinel Teams disrupt criminals and protects communities across Suffolk’s road network. They support our response policing and Safer Neighbourhood Teams and offer additional operational options making use of a wide range of proactive policing tactics and technology including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and mobile fingerprint devices to identify and intercept criminals, frustrate their activities and make Suffolk a hostile place for criminals to operate.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “The results from the Sentinel teams are simply outstanding. This proactive policing approach is exactly what the people of Suffolk are asking for, so well done to all involved.
“I’m really pleased so many dangerous criminals, who do so much harm in the county, have been caught red-handed and prosecuted.
“The further expansion of the teams this year provides a real boost to our force and its fight against crime and should send a powerful deterrent to the criminal fraternity.”

Suffolk Constabulary’s Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said: “These arrests demonstrate the positive impact the Sentinel teams are having across the county – disrupting criminal activity, seizing their assets and securing convictions to protect our local communities.
“Despite the current situation with Covid19 we are remaining on the front foot and are maintaining proactive policing to prevent criminals causing misery in Suffolk and this will continue.”
Additionally, the force has recently increased the capability of the three teams with four additional police staff investigators being introduced and who are working alongside the Sentinel teams. This will free up operational Sentinel police officers to stay visible and pro-active on the county’s roads to arrest criminals.
These posts are being funded by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s 4.69% increase to the policing element of council tax precept for this financial year. This rise will ensure the force continues to tackle serious and organised crime, bring more offenders to justice, prevent crime in the first place and make Suffolk’s roads safer.