Posted on 20th January 2012
Joint working between Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire police forces is being formalised with the signing of Section 23 collaboration agreements.
This signifies the combining of force Special Branches and the East Midlands Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (CTIU), the creation of a Major Crime Unit and the expansion of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit.
All five Forces’ Chief Constables and Police Authority Chairs have signed the legal documents which set out the terms under which they will collaborate. Section 23 agreements refer to Section 23 of the Police Act 1996, which was amended and expanded by the Policing and Crime Act 2009.
Deirdre Newham, chair of the East Midlands Police Authorities’ Joint Committee and joint chair of the Collaboration Board says:
“The economic climate is changing dramatically and will significantly affect how the police service operates as a whole.
“Collaboration between police forces in the East Midlands presents a real opportunity to reshape our business in a way that will enable us to deliver the best possible police service whilst makings savings.”
The East Midlands Police Collaboration Programme delivered the creation of a Major Crime Unit and the expansion of the Serious and Organised Crime capability, as well as the integration of force Special Branches and the CTIU into one unit. The three projects will save Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire police forces nearly £30 million over four years.
Joint chair of the Collaboration Board, Chief Constable Richard Crompton of Lincolnshire Police adds:
“By working together, we have improved our capability, added resilience and reduced cost.
“These are the first of many collaborations covering the breadth of policing that we are undertaking together. We are determined to ensure we all do all that we can to protect the frontline by brigading our approach where it is right to do so.”
Expansion of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit
The benefits of the three new capabilities are already being recognised after their first few months of operation and the Regional Review Unit, which was one of the first collaborative projects to be established, has had a productive first year.
Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon leads on specialist crime collaboration on behalf of the five forces. He adds:
“We are already seeing the benefits of creating the country’s largest multi force crime collaborations.
“The results during the first few months of operation have had and will continue to have a significant impact on the top tiers of criminality that operate within the East Midlands.”
East Midlands Special Operations Unit - Major Crime
Since the creation of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit - Major Crime (EMSOU-MC)in September 2011, the unit has dealt with 31 new enquires, including over 20 murders and an investigation into the death of two girls in a Northampton nightclub.
The cases have been spread across the East Midlands and have required cross border deployments between the five Forces. Suspects have been identified in all but one murder investigation and the investigation into the incident at the nightclub is ongoing.
EMSOU-MC is also managing three unsolved legacy homicide cases: one from October 2009 in Lincolnshire and two Northamptonshire cases from 2011. The unit is currently working on a number of detected homicide cases across the region that continue to provide investigative support and preparation for forthcoming trials.
Additionally, EMSOU-MC has responded to a small number of extortion cases from across the five Forces and those investigations are ongoing. Other notable work includes supporting serious crime investigations including attempted murders and suspicious deaths that have been later determined not to be criminal. The unit is centrally funded and co-ordinated but the service is locally delivered. EMSOU-MC investigates murder, manslaughter, kidnap with demands and extortion and takes on other investigations through a central tasking process.
East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Serious Organised Crime
Having a co-ordinated approach to tackling serious and organised crime within the East Midlands has seen the unit dealing with a number of complex investigations into the activity of organised crime groups. The offences being investigated by the unit at present include the criminal use and supply of firearms, drugs importation and distribution, burglary, armed robbery and handling stolen vehicles. In addition to live investigations, there are several cases being prosecuted through the courts.
Since the collaboration began in September, force specialist covert investigation teams have been integrated within the existing EMSOU structure. Prior to this, EMSOU targeted organised crime groups who posed the greatest threat, risk and harm to communities in the East Midlands while forces concentrated mainly on the groups operating in or impacting on their area.
This move has improved forces’ ability to tackle this type of criminality at a significantly reduced cost.
East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Counter Terrorism
Between January and October 2011, the five force Special Branches were integrated with the East Midlands Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (CTIU) into one unit, allowing them to operate under a unified command structure.
This project has increased resilience for all five forces in managing and responding to the ever-changing operational threats faced in the East Midlands. The move brings a number of significant benefits including the creation of a single policing system managed and resourced at the centre - the first of its kind in this area of work and now recognised as best practice nationally.
The unit plays a critical role in tackling the terrorist and domestic extremist threat and as part of the national Counter Terrorism network, providing an intelligence management and handling capability.
East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Regional Review Unit
In it’s first year of operation, the Regional Review Unit has conducted 65 reviews and made nearly 300 recommendations.
The unit reviews undetected homicides, domestic murders, murder of vulnerable people, stranger rapes, non-stop fatal road traffic collisions, cold case rapes and cold case murders on behalf of all five forces. Other areas can also be reviewed if agreed through a tasking process. There are fixed points for reviews to occur within most types of investigations. The purpose of them is to support forces in ensuring that every opportunity to solve the crime is pursued.
The review team has been involved in reviewing some of the highest profile cases in the East Midlands including the Jia Ashton murder in Derbyshire and the protest at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire.