North West Regional Organised Crime Unit

Titan launches Operation Hedgehunter

Wed 21st, Nov

a campaign targeting rogue elements of the haulage industry that facilitate and assist organised crime groups. Read more..

Haulage firms and truck drivers involved in organised crime across the North West are being targeted by law enforcement agencies during a 12-month crackdown.

Drugs, guns, illegal tobacco, and dangerous fake alcohol are among the contraband that are smuggled into the United Kingdom from oversees then brought to the North West hidden in lorries.

TITAN, the North West Regional Crime Unit, is leading an operation codenamed ‘Hedgehunter’ aimed at:
Disrupting criminal activity by rogue elements within the haulage industry
Gathering information about who is involved supporting law-abiding members of the trucking industry whose profits and livelihoods are being threatened by criminals

Operation Hedgehunter is being supported by Crimestoppers, UK Border Force (UKBF), the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customers (HMRC) as well as all six regional police forces and other agencies.

Detective Chief Inspector Janet Hudson, the senior investigating officer for Operation Hedgehunter said:

“This is the first time that Titan has led an operation targeting haulage companies as the movers and shakers in serious and organised crime in this region.

“Almost all organised crime affecting the North West involves commodities like drugs, weapons or contraband crossing our borders illegally and end up fuelling crime on the streets of our communities and damaging people’s lives.

“By targeting rogue elements within the haulage industry we are disrupting this supply chain, driving the criminal element out of trucking and firing a warning shot across their bows that we are going to be looking very closely at their business practices.

“The vast majority of firms are run by decent, law-abiding people who are simply trying to run a legitimate business and make a living. But they are not competing on a level playing field because some of their rivals are using the proceeds from organised crime to expand their business unfairly.

“My message to them is help us put a stop to this by sharing what you know about suspicious or illegal activity in your industry.”

Operation Hedgehunter is a multi-agency operation aimed at encouraging people working in the haulage industry and the wider public to report on hauliers who are operating outside of the law and industry regulations. The haulage industry turns over £64 billion each year, employing 220,000 people and operating 425,000 vehicles.

A high-profile awareness-raising campaign aimed at truck drivers and other members of the community will also encourage the reporting of any information about illegal or suspicious activity in confidence to Crimestoppers.