North West Regional Organised Crime Unit

Operation Hudson

Operation Hudson was an operation that spanned a number of investigations across the North West of England.

This was an operation that was launched in response to a series of ruthless cash-in-transit robberies across the region where security vans and banks were attacked between June 2009 and November 2009.

An extensive investigation was set up into a Merseyside-based organised crime groups by detectives from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan) assisted by officers from GMP, Merseyside Police and Lancashire Constabulary.

Each of the robberies had a number of common features - at least one car, often a high performance vehicle capable of being driven at speed, would be stolen in a domestic burglary and modified to use later as getaway cars.

Often the gang would be armed with an industrial rotary Stihl saw - used to cut railway track, which would be used to get into the security vans and they used crow bars or machetes to intimidate members of the public. On one occasion a security guard was stabbed three times to his legs with a knife during an attempt robbery at Booths Supermarket, Longton. On other occasion a GMP officer was run over and left critically injured as members of the gang fled the scene of an attempy robbery at Partington Leisure Centre.

Following the robberies the gang would leave the scene in the stolen vehicle, which would on occasion be burnt out nearby, before making off in a second stolen vehicle.

The offences occurred in the following places:

  • Booths supermarket, Longton, Preston (09.06.09) - an attempt cash-in-transit robbery where offenders repeatedly stabbed one of the security guards but left empty-handed.
  • St Chad's Parade, Kirkby (19.09.09) - a cash-in-transit robbery where the defendants used stihl saws to cut into the side of the van and stole a significant quantity of cash.
  • Lloyds TSB, Moreton, Wirral (06.10.09) - armed bank robbery using machetes and crowbars to steal a large quantity of cash.
  • Partington Leisure Centre, Partington (19.10.09) - attempt robbery and attempt murder of a GMP officer. After failing to saw open the security van the offenders were disturbed by the GMP officer. After ramming his police van offenders deliberately ran over the officer, leaving him critically injured.
  • Lloyds TSB, Aintree (02.11.09) - armed with crowbars and setting off fireworks outside the bank to deter members of the public the offenders fled the scene with an empty cash cassette box.
  • Co-Op, Central Avenue, Carlisle (10.11.09) - cash-in-transit robbery where the two security guards were attacked by three masked men carrying crowbars. They escaped with a substantial amount of cash.

A peripheral member of the team, who was arrested of part of the enquiry, was also convicted of large scale cannabis production.