Police forces in the East Midlands have the ‘most advanced and well-established approach’ towards tackling serious and organised crime in the country, according to a report by a Government watchdog.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies says that the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) operating in the East Midlands (East Midlands Specialist Operations Unit - EMSOU) has the “greatest capabilities to undertake the greatest range of critical policing functions, including surveillance and cyber-crime investigation.”
The report also found that, unlike the other nine regional organised crime units operating in the country, EMSOU undertakes a range of other, additional specialist functions including the investigation of all major crime such as murder and kidnap.
ROCUs were set up to investigate and disrupt organised crime groups operating across police force boundaries, and to provide support to investigations into other types of crime. They also act as an important point of connection between police forces and the National Crime Agency.
EMSOU was initially established as a covert unit in 2002 but has since grown in size and remit, with officers and specialist staff from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire brought together into one specialist regional crime fighting unit.
Following an inspection earlier this year of the country’s ROCUs, the report published by HMIC says EMSOU is the “most advanced and well-established of the ROCUs.” ·
The report continues: “EMSOU is an ambitious model of cross-force collaboration, which means that its constituent forces and regional communities can benefit from effective and efficient specialist policing services.”
EMSOU employs more officers and staff per head of population than the other nine ROCUs – with more than 1,400 staff and officers. EMSOU is only one of two ROCUs which provide all the 13 “capabilities” (different functions) and also provides the constituent forces with other additional services.
EMSOU is one of only two ROCUs where the Chief Police Officer is dedicated full-time to ROCU management, rather than being required to split their time between regional and force responsibilities.
The report concludes: “EMSOU’s size and remit are much larger than any of the other ROCUs and the EMSOU model is one which other regions can emulate”.
Derbyshire’s Chief Constable Mick Creedon, the national policing lead for serious and organised crime, said the report was a testament to the “dedication, professionalism and expertise” of everyone involved in EMSOU over the last 13 years.
He said: “It’s very heartening to read such positive comments about the complex, challenging and, at times, highly-sensitive work undertaken by EMSOU. Ours was one of the first such regional ROCU to be established, and the role it plays now on behalf of the force East Midlands forces is extensive.”