Picture (left to right): Inspector Marcus Oldroyd, Paddy Tipping and Chief Superintendent Gerard Milano with some of the money seized during Operation Reacher activity in Bestwood. (Photo credit: Nottinghamshire Police)

Plans to roll-out the successful Operation Reacher model to reduce drug dealing and weapon-enabled violence across the county are pressing ahead, with the new teams expected to be in place later this year.

Officers started the operation in the Bestwood area in April 2018 and has seen the engagement of communities that helped to drive-out serious organised crime groups from the area.

The operation has already seen millions of pounds worth of drugs, hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cash and hundreds of illegal vehicles taken off the county’s streets, as well as securing a number of significant convictions.

Plans were announced last year to extend the operation across the county before the end of 2020, with each of the new teams due to be in place within each of the force’s 12 neighbourhood policing areas by the autumn.

The first Operation Reacher team based outside of Bestwood are now already in place, where a dedicated team have been working side-by-side the neighbourhood policing team in Gedling since the end of January.

The team have already made an impact on reducing crime and antisocial behaviour in the area, where they seized up to £18,000 in suspected criminal money and have arrested or interviewed 45 suspects since their introduction.

Inspector Marcus Oldroyd, who led the force’s first Reacher team in Bestwood, said: “The operation is a hugely successful model which has received so much support from the local community who are grateful for the work that our officers, staff and volunteers do to make their community a safer place to live.

“The hard work starts now to make sure that those officers have the training, guidance and equipment they need to hit the ground running later this year and ensure that they can build upon the success that we have already seen in Bestwood and, more recently, Gedling and Arnold.”

Operation Reacher is due to be extended to each of the five neighbourhood policing teams working in the Nottingham city area and the county teams in Ashfield, Broxtowe Borough, Bassetlaw, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe areas.

The introduction of the new teams has been made possible thanks to the commitment made by the force’s Chief Constable and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner to continue to recruit new officers.

While police forces across England and Wales are seeking to recruit an additional 20,000 officers, Nottinghamshire itself was awarded 107 out of this number – all of who have now been recruited.

Work is now underway to recruit a further 150 officers in the financial year ahead, with a large proportion of those new officers due to begin their work within the Operation Reacher teams before the end of the year.

Chief Constable Guildford said: “Operation Reacher started in and around Bestwood and Top Valley but we have been clear for some time now that our plan is to bring Operation Reacher to every neighbourhood in Nottinghamshire – and that remains our objective, with the new team in Gedling marking yet another Operation Reacher success story.

“You only have to look at the public support from the areas where Reacher is already working to appreciate the impact that those teams have had, the amount of crime that they have prevented and the levels of reassurance those additional officers give the communities we serve.

“It is neighbourhood policing with teeth and something that I think delivers on a local basis which everyone in our county would welcome.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, Paddy Tipping, said: “People tell me they want to see a more proactive and visible presence on our streets and that is something that the Chief Constable and I are committed to continuing to bring to every corner of our county.

“The investment that has been made in the recruitment of 300 new officers over the past two years means we can now direct many of those new officers into extending the successful Reacher model to help keep our communities safe.

“We’ve now recruited the officers we need to extend the team’s impact and work is now well underway to make that happen. We are all looking forward to seeing those officers starting their work.”