Day of action to tackle serious and organised crime in Scotland

  12 December 2017
On Friday 8 December, agencies throughout Scotland took part in a day of action focussing on deterring and disrupting serious and organised crime on the Scottish transport networks.

Teams from BTP, Police Scotland, Border Force, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency all contributed to the day of action. The operation targeted many of the transport modes in Scotland, including rail, road, ports and air. Specialist officers staged themselves at key train stations, arterial routes, ports  and airports to spot suspicious behaviour. 

Teams also acted on intelligence, intercepting possible organised criminals who were using the transport network. 

Detective Inspector Arlene Wilson from British Transport Police, said: "This multi-agency taskforce had one clear objective in mind, to disrupt criminal gangs from using the Scottish transport network. Whether its smuggling drugs, trafficking, possessing firearms, waste crime or money laundering, we’re making it a hostile place for criminal gangs to operate.”

During Friday’s operation, a number of individuals were searched following detection by drugs dogs.

On the roads, 43 vehicles were searched by Police Scotland in connection with this operation. A number of individuals were reported in relation to traffic offences. 

DI Wilson added: "Organised criminal gangs do not restrict themselves to using one method of transport, therefore neither did we. Importantly, Friday’s day of action was not exclusively targeting Scotland. British Transport Police is a national force and we benefitted from the work of our colleagues south of the border. We benefited from the quick sharing of intelligence meaning that we are able to swiftly intercept criminal gangs exploiting the transport network. 

“The public can of course help us in the fight against organised criminal gangs in Scotland. If you are ever using the train and witness anything suspicious, we want to hear from you. Please report it to us discreetly by sending a text to 61016, in an emergency always dial 999.”

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA’s Chief Executive, said: “SEPA takes the issue of waste crime very seriously. Compliance is not optional and we are working closely with our partners to tighten our grip on the pathways which criminals use. The lessons we have learned from this multi-agency approach will help ensure that cross border waste crime continues to be tackled effectively in the future, and enable legitimate operators to undertake work in fair competition with one another.”