On Wednesday the 12th of September 2018 the International Police Association held a Street Gangs To Organised Crime Seminar at Leicestershire Police HQ. Story by Martyn Linton.
Last year I was speaking with one of the IPA Vice Presidents about learning opportunities within the IPA and I suggested a seminar on gang crime. The idea was quickly taken up and it was a pleasure to attend it last week as a speaker.
The event was very well attended with people from within policing and partner agencies and what impressed me the most was that officers had travelled from Ireland and even Iceland for the event! With an audience like this I had better be on top of my game!
First up were two colleagues fro the Gangs Enforcement Unit for Portland, Oregan in the US. Brian and Charlie are very experienced gang enforcement cops and they spoke about gang issues in their city, the set up of the unit (very impressive – the UK should take note!), samples of cases they had worked and a summary of how they operate. I was to learn a lot more in the bar afterwards!
With officers from the Gang Enforcement Unit – Portland, Oregan, US
The following presentations came from Dr Matt Hopkins from the University Of Leicester, representatives from the Gangmasters Labour & Abuse Authority, and the UKBA team that deal with serious criminality and money laundering offences.
My good friend and former colleague Mark Bullen (former Hertfordshire Police officer) delivered his presentation of Russian Organised Crime & Prison Tattoos. Mark left the police and has delivered training in this subject to law enforcement agencies worldwide. He has also written a book called Thief In Law – available on Amazon.
Closer to my personal history Detective Superintendent Rich Agar from West Midlands Police spoke about work he and his team had done in identifying people who were coming to notice and were likely to go into a life of crime.
Then it was my turn. I was presenting on County Lines and Violence and tactics that police officers can use in the course of investigating this. I started with a short explanation of personal experiences I had as a youngster involved with the bad crowd and how I left them all behind to avoid a life of badness.
I then spoke about the components needed to form a County Line, tactics used and best practice from an investigators point of view having successfully investigated numerous drugs offences and acts of serious violence.
The final presentation of the day was from an organisation called Street Doctors. They are a charity organisation that work with youngsters to teach them about the principles of first aid that can be used should they become involved in a stabbing etc. They also work to prevent violence through education.
This seminar was a great success. I met new people and learned from others who spoke. I have been invited and have accepted an offer to travel to the US to spend time with the US gang officers to gain more experience. I will also be speaking with D.Supt Agar from West Midlands Police who is their force lead on County Lines.
This educational event is on of many open to members of the International Police Association. Visit http://www.ipa-uk.org for more information and how to join.