A total of nineteen people were arrested and £200,000 in cash was seized during a proactive cross-border traffic operation across the M25 corridor.
Officers from both local and countywide Operation Scorpion units, BCH Road Policing and Safer Neighbourhood teams worked in partnership with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police Service, Thames Valley Police, Surrey Police and British Transport Police, using ANPR technology to stop almost 250 vehicles over a three-day period.
Between Tuesday 23 June and Thursday 25 June, officers across all four force areas proactively patrolled the M25 corridor between Junction 17 and Junction 25, as well as other main arterial routes, using ANPR technology to identify people and vehicles of interest.
Nineteen arrests were made for offences including burglary, possession with intent to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and other various motoring offences.
In addition, 15 further people were dealt with by other disposal methods including Traffic Offence Reports and community resolution orders, resulting in 15 vehicles seized for offences such as no insurance.
One arrest was in Croxley Green on Tuesday 23 June, after officers stopped a black Range Rover on Rickmansworth Road. The male driver was searched under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 before a holdall containing £174,000 in bank notes was discovered in the vehicle.
The cash was seized and a 37-year-old man from Watford was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. He has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Further searches were carried out at two separate addresses in Watford, in connection with the arrest, where officers seized an additional £5,000 in cash. Jewellery and designer handbags were also discovered at one of the properties and these were recorded as evidence.
Later on, officers stopped a silver Range Rover at Junction 17 of the M25 after it activated their ANPR technology. Both the vehicle and its two occupants were searched before £16,000 in cash was recovered from the boot, as well as phones and vehicle keys. These were seized as part of the investigation. A 40 year old man from Romford and a 29 year old man from Wandsworth were arrested on suspicion of money laundering. They have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Another arrest was made in Hunton Bridge after officers spotted a man acting suspiciously outside a property. He was detained and searched, as well as a nearby black Audi A3, where officers found tools and gloves they suspected could have been used to burgle. A 24-year-old man from Hemel Hempstead was arrested on suspicion of going equipped. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Detective Inspector Stewart Moulding, who was Bronze Commander for the operation, said: ‘This operation is a prime example of how strong partnership working with our colleagues from other police forces can have a much greater impact on criminality overall.
‘The team stopped hundreds of vehicles over a three-day period and spoke to both drivers and occupants, identifying the nature of their journeys. Many of the people stopped were law-abiding citizens going about their daily business and officers gave advice and reassurance where appropriate. Multiple intelligence reports were also submitted, building on our database of information about criminality in our county.
‘I am really pleased with the results of this operation and I’d like to commend the professionalism of everyone involved. However we shall not be resting on our laurels – we are constantly working to identify and apprehend anyone who chooses to commit crime in our county, and we shall continue to conduct proactive operations in the future.
‘Our message is clear – Hertfordshire is a hostile place for criminals and if you are involved in illegal activity, we will catch up with you.’
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