The south west’s regional crime team is marking six months of operations fighting serious and organised crime with the launch of a new website.
Zephyr is made up of officers from five police forces – Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Since its launch on September 1, Zephyr has made more than 60 arrests and has seized around half a million pounds in assets and around £300,000 in cash. A substantial amount of Class A and Class B drugs, weapons and fraudulent documentation has also been recovered.
Zephyr also has around £13million of assets currently under restraint pending further investigation. These assets have been seized by police under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) from people suspected of having accrued those assets through crime.
The new Zephyr website www.zephyrsouthwest.com will combine the latest news releases, pictures, videos and interviews and will also give people the opportunity to report any information they may have directly to the team.
There is also an interactive Google Street Map which enables members of the public to see where Zephyr has had success arresting and charging offenders. This includes arrests made outside of the five force areas.
The website hosts links to various agencies which work closely with Zephyr – the Borders Agency (UKBA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and Trading Standards.
Head of Zephyr Superintendent Nigel Rock said: “We are really pleased with the success of Zephyr to date and the impact we have made on the region’s serious and organised criminal networks.
“The arrival of the website shows our commitment to working with our communities to disrupt, dismantle and destroy organised crime groups who make a living illegally.
“Websites are one of the most effective ways to communicate with people in the area to help us investigate crime and ultimately, bring offenders to justice.
“It will make Zephyr more visible and give people more information about what we are doing. The help of the public is vital in the work we do so I’d encourage everyone to go online, take a look and get involved.”