North Yorkshire Police’s Road Crime Team travelled to the Netherlands to share their knowledge and expertise with a new police unit there.
Two members of the team were invited to Amsterdam to talk tactics and discuss their experience of pro-active policing of the road networks with their Dutch counterparts, gaining valuable knowledge and identifying new ways of working in North Yorkshire.
Politie Amsterdam have about 90 officers dedicated to Team Hoofdwegen (major roads) who patrol the city in a fleet of marked Volvo patrol cars.
In 2014, Politie Amsterdam’s Sergeant Thijs Eekof and Sergeant Reuben Bohncke, inspired by the work of the Regional Roads Crime Team as shown on BBC’s Motorway Cops, visited the team to get a better understanding of how they operate.
In January 2015 they formed a specialist road crime team, consisting of covert high-performance vehicles and a core of seven officers trained in road crime tactics.
Since then, the team has seized €741,665 worth of controlled drugs and €255,109 worth of cash proceeds of crime. They have also seized numerous firearms and stolen vehicles.
In November, the Netherlands Politie international liaison at Rotterdam sponsored the attendance of two officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Road Crime Team (RCT) to help the Dutch team ensure tactics had been correctly implemented, identify any areas for development, and understand how officers use North Yorkshire’s ANPR infrastructure.
Sgt Eekof said:
We wanted to investigate how the recently implemented approach in road crime could be further improved.
PC James Duffy and Sgt Andy Quigley from North Yorkshire Police’s Tadcaster-based RCT flew to Amsterdam, where they spent four days alongside the team, observing how they work and discussing areas in which improvements could be made.
PC Duffy said:
It was a great opportunity to go and see a fledgling team employing the same tactics as ourselves in a dynamic city like Amsterdam, with great success. We were able to discuss ways to improve their tactics, along with our use of the police National Decision Model to underpin the high-risk manoeuvres we employ.
During the week the team were involved in stopping a range of vehicles from those involved in low-level crime through to vehicles linked to organised crime groups, with multiple stop-searches conducted.
They also assisted in Operation Trivium, which saw Dutch officers stopping UK-registered vehicles, allowing RCT officers to link in with North Yorkshire Police and obtain relevant information about them.
Sgt Eekof said:
The visit was productive as the team were stopping more cars towards the end of the week. It was educational due to the exchange on tactics. Also it was great to see the other team members having an introduction to the English take on road crime.
The trip proved beneficial for both teams, with North Yorkshire Police RCT officers identifying new ways of working which they will adopt in the future.
PC Duffy added:
The visit was a great success and sets the foundations for a strong working relationship between the teams in the future, as we continue to share tactics and experiences. Our thanks go to all the officers at Amsterdam who could not have made us feel more welcome.
The North Yorkshire Police Road Crime Team was brought back in-force after the Regional Roads Crime Team was disbanded in 2013. They specialise in tackling criminality on the county’s roads, and have made over 482 arrests in that time, seizing £1.4 million worth of drugs along with £3.3 million worth of criminal property and stolen goods.
You can follow the team’s work on Twitter at @NYPRoadCrime