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Organised crime groups dismantled as part of UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation


More than 30 arrests have been made across the South West including two guns, 17kg cocaine, 5kg MDMA, £790k cash and several high value cars being seized as part of the region’s response to Operation Venetic, the UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation.

The South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) has worked alongside the National Crime Agency and regional forces to act on intelligence uncovered through the takedown of EncroChat, a bespoke encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals.

“The results of the SW ROCU are outstanding and they have successfully disrupted numerous violent organised crime groups who exploit vulnerable people in our area.

“These successful results are a testament to the power of working together to tackle these criminal groups. Thanks to their hard work, many lives have been saved and local people can feel safe in their neighbourhoods and communities.”

PCC Sue Mountstevens

During the operation, SW ROCU achieved the following:

  • In Bath and Bristol, 11 people suspected of being involved in a conspiracy to supply wholesale amounts of Class A drugs and launder hundred of thousands of pounds were arrested
  • Three men were arrested in Weston-super-Mare, Portishead and Shirehampton in Bristol on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
  • Supported Dorset Police to take action against two suspected organised crime groups under Operation Venetic

“These results are part of a phenomenal effort across law enforcement in the past few months, which has seen us target organised criminals based in our area, as well as support the wider network to disrupt those that harm our region.  And this work continues.”

Head of SW ROCU Deputy Superintendent Tina Robinson