Fortitude: first week of operations results in numerous arrests
Wiltshire Police's newly formed Fortitude teams have already begun to make a difference.
The proactive response unit, which was launched at the start of the week, has taken action against prolific and serious offenders as part of a concerted long term campaign to cut crime, strengthen communities and deter criminals from taking advantage of the most vulnerable members of society.
Detective Inspector Angela Shipp, who leads the Swindon Fortitude team, said: "This week has seen a really positive start to the Fortitude Team arresting numerous offenders in both Swindon and Wiltshire.
"Those we have targeted reflect those who cause the most harm in our communities exploiting children and vulnerable people through county lines gangs. We have also undertaken numerous positive warrants at locations across Wiltshire where suspects have been using addresses in the community to deal Class A and B drugs and removed thousands of pounds of drugs that were destined for the streets.
"We have arrested individuals for burglary and robbery offences and recovered high value stolen vehicles by being able to deploy quickly as a team.
"Let us be clear with this message, we are determined to tackle persistent offenders who have such an impact on our communities, our children and vulnerable people. The Fortitude Team has worked extremely hard to achieve these results and we will strive to build on these over the coming weeks and months."
Fortitude is built on the premise that most crime is committed by a relatively small proportion of offenders - and targeting these groups will have a significant impact on the lives of the vast majority of law-abiding people who live in our communities.
This initiative has been made possible thanks to public support for the Police and Crime Commissioners' increase in the police precept which has helped fund the equivalent of 16 extra front line police officers.
Fortitude represents a merging of the previous Dedicated Tasking Team and the Community Tasking Teams into one new enhanced unit which will be further boosted with new police officers.
The teams are divided into Swindon and County units and will work alongside their colleagues in the Community Policing Teams covering the whole force area.