Officers from Surrey, Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, Essex, the Metropolitan Police were involved in the three-day initiative, known as ‘Operation Pandilla’.
The operation used Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology and police intelligence to target vehicles on arterial roads and motorways. The road network is often used to run ‘County Lines’ drug operations, so the operation focused on tackling offenders involved in drug-related harm, serious violent offending and high harm as well as serious acquisitive crime
Operation Pandilla resulted in 109 arrests, including arrests for concerned in the supply of controlled drugs, offensive weapons, burglaries and numerous other offences.
A total of 46 vehicles and 18 weapons were also seized across the eight forces as well as a large quantity of drugs
Detective Inspector Dee Fielding from Surrey Police said,
“Operation Pandilla has been a successful three-day operation where officers from a number of police force areas were able to pull together their resources and proactively police our road networks to disrupt and detect some of our most serious criminal offenders.
“Many of those arrested will be involved in organised criminality and pose a risk to our communities, often targeting vulnerable adults and children. Our focus over the three days was to send a clear message to those that are involved in these types of crimes that they are not welcome here in Surrey or in any other Police force areas. Safeguarding our communities is paramount and we intend to continue to robustly disrupt these organised crime groups who bring a disproportionate amount of violence and harm to our communities.
“We also urge the public to tell us what they know to help us build our intelligence picture so we can continue to target those that are a risk to our most vulnerable.”