Specialist police team have made more than 500 arrests in first year

PUBLISHED: 09:43 23 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:57 23 May 2020

Officers in Great Yarmouth who are part of Operation Moonshot. Picture: Norfolk Police

Officers in Great Yarmouth who are part of Operation Moonshot. Picture: Norfolk Police


A specialist Norfolk policing team set up to identify, disrupt and catch criminals on the county’s roads is celebrating its 500th arrest less than a year after being set up in the east of the county.

Officers from the Operation Moonshot East team on patrol on February 25. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Officers from the Operation Moonshot East team on patrol on February 25. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Operation Moonshot was first launched in west Norfolk three years ago.

Teams have since been set up in the city and the east, which proactively patrols Great Yarmouth, north Norfolk and south Norfolk.

Officers target individuals using the road network across Norfolk to commit crime, including county lines dealer groups.

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The team monitors intelligence reports from police officers, Crimestoppers and members of the public, and officers are then deployed according to this information using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to help disrupt the activity of those coming into the county to commit crime.

Since it was launched at the end of May last year, the East team has made 504 arrests, resulting in a number of convictions.

In total the team has been responsible for securing more than 384 months imprisonment, 218 months suspended imprisonment sentences, 1,236 months of disqualification from driving and 1,900 community orders.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk’s chief constable, said: “Our Operation Moonshot teams are a great example of how Norfolk Police has been fulfilling its everyday roles throughout the coronavirus crisis. Crime does continue, but so does our firm response to it, and it is thanks to teams such as Moonshot that we are able to continue to tackle risk. This includes targeting County Lines nominals and denying criminals the use of the road.

“The 500th arrest by Moonshot East within 12 months sends a clear message - if you are committing crime in Norfolk then there is a very high risk of being stopped, arrested and given lengthy prison sentences when convicted.

“I am proud of our Moonshot teams across the county and the results they have achieved. The force continues to focus on proactively pursuing criminals and whilst we cannot predict what is yet to come, we are confident in our resilience going forward. We will continue to work closely with partners across law enforcement and the criminal justice system to effectively manage any challenges that arise.”

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