7. Priorities for the Chief Constable (4. To combat organised crime and county lines))
Combat organised crime and county lines
Organised crime can seem like a distant threat, but sadly it presents considerable challenges and its effects can be seen in local communities. Kent Police must continue to develop and share intelligence to build a local picture of threats, risk, harm and vulnerabilities to safeguard victims and enable the deployment of the right resources to prevent, disrupt and investigate offending to keep Kent safe.
a) Kent has three divisional County Lines and Gangs Teams (CLGT) who provide a proactive and preventative capability to reduce the harm caused to Kent communities from county-line criminality and gang activity. In 2022/23, the CLGT achieved the following results:
b) 329 arrests
c) 244 warrants executed
d) 474 charges laid
e) 141 weapons seized
f) 397 years and 4 months in court sentences
Example: In October 2022 the CLGT took part in a national county lines intensification week, during which the team targeted 25 county lines, resulting in the arrest of 26 offenders and the securing of 30 charges. Kent Police also recovered more line handsets than any other force in the Eastern region.
The Serious Organised Crime Team has continued to pursue those offenders that cause the most threat, harm and risk, targeting Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) that erode the economy and communities and are responsible for drug importation and supply, firearms offences, aggravated burglary, and theft of ATMs amongst other offences. OCGs ruthlessly target the most vulnerable, ruining lives.
Example: A known member of an OCG was arrested and subsequently sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 18 years for the violent attack, sexual assault, burglary and false imprisonment of an elderly victim in their own home.