Operation Trivium IV: European police reps join UK colleagues in latest foreign offender crackdown
Police from Eastern Europe are heading for Britain this week to help colleagues in England and Wales as they launch a concerted campaign targeting foreign criminals sheltering in the UK.
Operation Trivium runs from June 22-26 and sees officers from Romania and Lithuania (where many foreign nationals committing crime in the UK are from), Netherlands and Europol join UK counterparts for a concerted operation against foreign national offenders (FNOs) using our road networks.
The Eastern European contingent will join the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) on the lookout for foreign national offenders (FNOs) across the West Midlands.
They’ll support raids on addresses linked to suspects and take part in traffic operations. In addition to helping local officers overcome practical obstacles, like language barriers, they can also tap into their home country’s police systems to verify details supplied by foreign nationals they encounter.
Other forces will also be carrying out operations over the course of the week under the Trivium banner.
West Midlands Police Superintendent Paul Keasey, who is leading the operation, hopes to build on the success of last October’s Trivium which saw more than 1,000 FNOs arrested.
He said: “I’m delighted to again welcome colleagues from police forces in Europe - their support is invaluable.
“Last time, more than 30 people wanted on European Arrest Warrants were caught during Trivium – many in the West Midlands – which was a fantastic effort and a credit to the efforts of all UK police forces and our visiting colleagues.
“Foreign nationals who commit crime in the UK, and who use the road network to facilitate that criminality, may feel untouchable by UK police – but operations like this demonstrate our commitment to cross-border policing and show that borders are no barrier to justice.”
It’s estimated there are up to 350,000 foreign-registered vehicles on UK roads at any one time. Ahead of Operation Trivium, Europol has provided CMPG with details of 3,000-plus vehicles that may be on UK roads and are suspected of being linked to crime.
Operation Trivium’s week of action will see Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) checks on foreign-plated vehicles – and the cameras will immediately tell police if the car is uninsured or linked to criminality.
Supt Keasey added: “The operation has allowed us to forge strong links with eastern European police counterparts, share information on criminals and any emerging tactics used by offenders.
“It is important to stress that we are targeting criminals, not the communities these offenders are from. Trivium targets those who try to use borders to cover their criminal tracks through an international show of determination.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said: “I am delighted to support the work of Operation Trivium. Over the last few years, Trivium has proved invaluable not only in terms of helping us catch foreign national offenders using our road network as part of their criminal activity, but also as an example of solid, collegial international collaboration with colleagues from a variety of countries helping us out since the operation’s inception.
“I am pleased to welcome Romanian, Lithuanian, Dutch and Europol colleagues to take part in Trivium 4. I look forward to seeing the results of what I am sure will be a sterling effort by officers across England and Wales.”
West Midlands Police’s advanced event control suite in Birmingham will act as a national command centre during the pan-European operation for police forces across the UK and the continent requesting details on suspects.
All 43 police forces in England and Wales are taking part in Op Trivium – the fourth of its kind – and will run checks on people and vehicles through Europol and National Crime Agency (NCA) agents at the intelligence hub in Edgbaston. Social media will carry the #OpTrivium hashtag.
Home Office Immigration Enforcement officials are on hand to deal with illegal immigrants or over-stayers, while an operation will also be run alongside the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) targeting human traffickers and modern day slavery offences.
Op Trivium 3 ran from October 20-24 last year.
In total, 7,151 vehicles were stopped nationally – almost 1,200 as a result of activating ANPR cameras – with 555 seized and 1,073 people arrested. A further 3,458 people were handed on-the-spot fines for traffic offences, cautioned or summonsed to court.
And in the West Midlands, 51 vehicles were seized and 29 people arrested on suspicion of being involved in crime.
They included four Romanians suspected of organised shoplifting sprees at retail parks across the Midlands, a Slovakian man suspected of running a human trafficking ring, and two Polish men wanted over an £11,500 fraud and domestic abuse, respectively.