Emily Spurrell welcomes 'outstanding' grading for North West Organised Crime Unit on behalf of regional PCCs


The Police Commissioner for Merseyside is welcoming the outstanding rating for the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the first for any ROCU in the country, on behalf of the region's PCCs.

Following a police effectiveness, efficiency, and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection earlier this year, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has rated the NWROCU ‘outstanding’ at tackling serious organised crime.

The findings of the report published today (Friday 10 November), highlighted the size and scale of the threat across the North West region and the strong working relationship between the NWROCU and the regions forces in tackling serious organised crime.

The report recognises that the NWROCU has effective governance and tasking processes in place to coordinate its resources to manage and understand priority threats.

It also highlights several areas of proactive work taking place to combat serious organised crime including:

*            Effective workforce planning aligned to emerging threats

*            Collaborative working with forces and HMPPS to tackle crime within prisons

*            Use of innovative intelligence techniques used in collaboration with other agencies, to disrupt county lines.

Inspectors identified improvements that could be made by the NWROCU and its collaborative forces to the way they manage SOC offenders.

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:

“This outstanding rating for the NWROCU is a hugely positive endorsement of the collaborative work our six police forces are undertaking to tackle serious and organised crime and as Chair of the regional group of North West Police and Crime Commissioners, I’d like to welcome this report on behalf of all PCCs across our region.

“We know organised crime and the heartless individuals who operate within them have no boundaries, so to be the first Regional Organised Crime Unit in the country to be rated as outstanding is not only an exceptional achievement but recognition for the relentless commitment officers and staff demonstrate each day to cultivate and nurture cross-border partnerships.

“By robustly targeting those who would seek to spread fear and toxicity across our region, the NWROCU is rooting out some of the most dangerous criminals in the North-West and, as a result, is having a hugely positive impact on the work we are doing in each of our counties to build safer, stronger communities.”

Following publication of the Peel Assessment, Assistant Chief Constable Jo Edwards said:

"Our overall assessment of ‘outstanding’ is testimony to the strength of the partnership between the six north-west forces, its partners and the NWROCU who work collectively to understand and address the threat from serious and organised crime. The findings of HMICFRS reflects the exceptional work of those officers and staff which takes place each day and their unwavering commitment to keeping our communities safe from those individuals and organised crime groups who are responsible for serious and organised crime. 

“We are proud to be the first ROCU in the country to achieve a rate of 'outstanding'. This remarkable accomplishment highlights our dedication to excellence, quality, and the strong relationships that we have with our forces and partners. As an organisation which strives to continue to improve, I welcome the observations of the HMICFRS in terms of areas in which we can strengthen our approach – working collectively with forces and partners we will continue to adapt and learn to ensure that we do everything we can to protect the public from harm.

“During the past 12 months (November 22-23), the NWROCU carried out more than 5900  disruptions against serious organised crime threats. Much of our work is covert, kept from the public until they see the results through activity such as warrants, arrests and other forms of disruption against those involved in serious and organised crime.

“We safeguarded almost 300 vulnerable children and adults and put some of the most dangerous criminals in the region behind bars for almost 200 years for drugs and firearms offences and this is a direct result of the continued efforts of my staff.

"We are wholly committed to protecting communities across the North West against serious and organised crime and will continue to work with forces and our partners to build on our successes and provide communities across the region with a professional police service that delivers."

Serena Kennedy, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police said:

“The fight against serious organised crime (SOC) is reliant on good strong relationships with partner organisations, including the NWROCU, other forces across the UK and our local authorities, to name but a few.

“Our work with the NWROCU is integral to taking offenders, guns and drugs, which bring fear and misery to our communities, off the streets along with those who orchestrate SOC activity. I am delighted to see that the NWROCU has been graded as outstanding as I know that the hard work that our teams do together helps to make our communities safer and together we are relentless in our approach to disrupting SOC.”