Large growth set to continue at regional organised crime units

Large growth set to continue at regional organised crime units

More than 300 extra police officers have joined regional organised crime units in the past year, with a further 425 set to help tackle issues such as county drugs lines, economic crime and modern slavery by 2023.

As part of the Government police uplift programme, which aims to recruit 20,000 new officers by March 2023, the nine regional organised crime units (ROCUs) across England and Wales, along with specialist teams with the Metropolitan and City of London Police, are expected to grow by 725 officers between 2021 and 2023.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, 345 additional officers were recruited in total to help tackle serious and organised crime, over and above the initial 300 target.

ROCUs use a variety of specialist capabilities to gather intelligence, working closely with police forces and other law enforcement agencies to dismantle the most serious and organised crime networks and then seize the assets of the criminals involved.

Det Supt Tina Robinson

Detective Supt Tina Robinson, Head of the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU), said: “It’s a pivotal moment for ROCUs, with significant recruitment enabling us to both strengthen existing specialist teams and establish new ones so we can continue the vital work we do.

“SW ROCU grew by 21 officers last year, and is currently working to recruit at least an additional 34 by the end of March.  The range of roles on offer, across all of our teams, represents fantastic opportunities for officers with the right skillset – or the ambition to develop that skillset – to join us.”

SW ROCU currently has nearly 30 police officer vacancies ranging from DCI rank to PC/DC either live now or due to be advertised soon.  The unit is also encouraging officers keen to relocate to the South West to consider transferring in to any of the five regional forces to work at SW ROCU. 

Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst, National Police Chiefs Council lead for regional organised crime units (ROCUs), said: “Bringing 345 extra officers into our ROCUs, the Met and City of London Police in the last year shows our commitment to tackling serious and organised crime across the country.

“We will continue to increase our capacity within these specialist units in the year ahead, as we look to recruit 425 further officers into teams tackling the most serious offenders in every area across England and Wales in 2022/23.

“Serious and organised crime doesn’t recognise borders. Taking a regional approach is vital to ensure that we get a grip of those involved in serious offending like fraud, selling drugs, weapons and human trafficking, who usually cover vast networks which spread beyond our traditional police force areas.

“The impact that serious organised crime has on our communities should not be underestimated. From burglary and anti-social behaviour through to knife crime and child sexual abuse: these crimes often have their roots in organised crime, which has a real impact on innocent members of the public right across the country.

“It’s fantastic to see all these extra resources coming in to boost our fight against this threat and those involved in organised crime should be under no illusion that we are coming after them.”

Full vacancy details and more information about the transferee scheme are on the Careers & Contacts | South West ROCU ( page.