The relentless pursuit of dangerous offenders has seen a single Kent Police team jail criminals for more than 1,300 years.
Since its launch in February 2019, the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad has targeted nominals who are causing the highest levels of harm in their communities. Armed robbers, ram-raiders, burglary conspirators and car thieves are among those they have brought to justice.
Over the past year, the team has locked up criminals for 405 years, carried out 140 warrants, made 240 arrests and received authority to issue 535 charges.
From the time they went operational, their investigations have seen offenders jailed for 1,318 years. They have also made 850 arrests, carried out 428 warrants and issued 2,415 charges.
In this video, Det Supt Shaun White tells you about the team’s work.
Detective Superintendent Shaun White, who leads the Crime Squad, said: ‘The remit we have is clear – provide victims of crime with an outstanding service and go after the individuals who are causing the highest levels of harm.
‘You only need to look at the results we are achieving to see we are doing just that. More than 1,300 years in prison sentences, and close to 2,500 charges is a testament to the outstanding expertise of my officers – they have undoubtedly made the county safer.’
The Crime Squad covers the entire county, with more than 30 officers operating across several different bases.
Among its ranks are specialist detectives and police officers who carry out intelligence-led patrols to disrupt criminals.
The team also has its own analyst, whose real time monitoring of crime trends allows the team to gather an intimate understanding of issues affecting a particular area.
These working arrangements mean the Crime Squad is able to quickly identify offenders, and proactively target them to stop them committing further offences.
Over the past year, the team has achieved robust results which have seen serious and dangerous offenders jailed for long periods of time. These include:
- Three men were jailed for a total of 27 years after breaking into a Gillingham home, threatening a woman with a knife and stealing money and a luxury watch.
- A total of 25 years’ imprisonment was imposed on three men who targeted a caravan site in Detling and threatened numerous people in the presence of young children. A man was stabbed in the arm during the offending.
- Two men responsible for a series of burglaries across Gravesend and Dartford were jailed for a total of 22 years. They also stole an ATM during a ram raid at a Northfleet shop and stole cash from the safe of an Ebbsfleet store after threatening staff with weapons. This was a joint investigation with the Serious Organised Crime team in the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, and North Kent Criminal Investigation Department.
- Three people who committed a series of knife-point robberies across Dover and Aylesham were jailed for a total of 17 years.
- Two brothers who stole more than £10,000 during a robbery at a Chatham amusement arcade were jailed for 14 years between them.
- Two men who posed as police officers to enter a Gravesend home, before threatening a woman with a knife and demanding money, were jailed for a total of 12 years.
- Two medical professionals who used NHS records to locate vulnerable people, burgle their homes and steal painkillers, were jailed for a combined total of 10 years.
- A combined total of nine and a half years’ imprisonment was imposed on a man and woman who threatened a Folkestone shop worker with a bread knife during a robbery.
- Three Ashford drug dealers, who supplied heroin and crack cocaine, were jailed for nine years between them.
- A hooded robber who held a knife to the throat of a shop worker in Ramsgate was jailed for eight years.
A fantastic team
Detective Superintendent White added: ‘My officers are a fantastic team, who use every power available to them to target criminals. This includes regularly obtaining warrants and targeting them in their homes during the early hours.
‘More important than that, however, is the care we provide to victims. The people we help have often experienced the trauma of having someone threaten them with extreme violence, or had to endure the discomfort of having someone burgle their home as they sleep. They are our number one concern and we provide a lot of support behind the scenes which goes beyond simply investigating a crime and locking away an offender.
‘The likelihood of falling victim to a crime we deal with is exceptionally low, and we want to ensure it stays that way. We’re not going away, our work is going to continue and anyone with ambitions to commit similar types of crime can expect to be targeted by us.’