The website for Zephyr – the South West’s regional organised crime unit – is being re-launched, making it more dynamic and user-friendly.
The launch coincides with the fourth birthday of the South West’s crime-busting unit.
Zephyr has made a huge impact since its launch in the autumn of 2010. Organised criminals have received jail sentences totalling around 500 years; more than £9m worth of drugs and associated items have been seized; confiscation orders totalling £7.8m issued by the courts; and more than £500,000 cash seized.
So far more than 500 offenders have been jailed for a total of 481 years as a result of work of Zephyr staff, who are drawn from Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Dorset and Avon and Somerset forces.
It is no wonder that Zephyr investigators have become a real thorn in the side of organised career criminals across the south west.
The new website features a short history of Zephyr and how it was launched and how officers and staff in five forces work together to target the region’s serious and organised crime groups.
Various operations are featured on the website which includes photos taken at the time.
There is a latest news section, links to other agencies such as Crimestoppers, the National Crime Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, UK Border Force, and Gain (the Government Agency Intelligence Network), with whom Zephyr work closely.
Advice on on-line safety and staying “cyber smart” are other items featured.
Since Zephyr was launched there has been a catalogue of successes over its relatively short four year life. The team have:
- been granted 72 confiscation orders, totalling £7.8m.
- seized £529,000 cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
- seized 60.5kgs of class A drugs (with a street value of £3.2m)
- seized 130.5kg of cutting agent (capable of being cut into a 170kg’s of Class A drugs approximate street value £6 million)
- seized just short of 3000 cannabis plants (approximate street value of £60,000)
- seized 30,000 MDMA tablets (with an approximate street value of £150,000)
- seized five Section One firearms (which are firearms prohibited by law such as hand guns and rifles) and ammunition
Head of Zephyr, Detective Superintendent Damian Kearney said: “When Zephyr was set up in September 2010, it was with the direct intention of destroying, dismantling and disrupting serious and organised crime groups across the south west of England, in order to reassure the public”.
“During the past 48 months we have become a real thorn in the side of those involved in organised crime in the region. Our proactive action has led to the disruption of 32 organised crime groups. Members of many of those groups are now serving time behind bars, paying the price of their crimes”.
“Organised crime comes in many guises. Recently Zephyr has been targeting criminals operating from London and Scotland who have been involved in defrauding elderly and vulnerable people within the South West”.
“The re-launch of our website chronicles some of our successes but also shows the wide-range of work we are undertaking with our partner agencies to undermine and destroy organised crime in the south west”.
“As you will see on the website, we not only put career criminals behind bars but we seize the results of their crimes and ensure where possible it is paid back to victims and the offenders are not allowed to reap the benefits of their illegal actions”.
“We are committed to undermining and destroying the ambitions of organised crime groups and making the south west a safer place to live. There is no hiding place for those intending to follow a life dedicated to crime,” declared Detective Superintendent Kearney.
Source:: Wiltshire Police News