A major new initiative has been launched to target serious and organised crime across the region and bring offenders to justice.

Operation Target sees Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands police joining forces in a defiant stand against a whole range of offences – from drug dealing and human trafficking, to cyber-crime and fraud.

As well as targeting offenders who look to profit from the misery of their victims, the operation will also work towards preventing this type of activity from taking place.

The four forces will be working in unison alongside the Regional Organised Crime Unit for the West Midlands Region (ROCUWM), to utilise their skills and expertise.

Officers will be seizing goods, carrying out warrants and targeting offenders as part of Op Target’s ongoing crack-down against serious and organised crime.

The Head of ROCUWM Chief Superintendent Jenny Skyrme said: “Serious and Organised Crime affects more people and more often than any other national security threat with the impact having devastating consequences on both individuals and communities.

The launch of Operation Target is a way for all four forces within the West Midlands region to further come together with ROCU WM in a collaborative show of defiance against serious and organised crime to relentlessly disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups.

Criminals don’t abide by boundaries and therefore our work as a region best protects our communities. As well as pursuing offenders, Operation Target is also about ensuring we do everything we can to prevent people becoming victims in the first place and being exploited by criminals who think nothing about preying on people’s vulnerabilities. This includes putting activity in place to disrupt organised crime and also through education and support to stop it happening in the first place.”

Nationally, organised crime is seen as one of the greatest threats to communities because of the harmful effect it can have on everyone.

Organised crime is anything which is planned, coordinated and conducted by people working together for financial gain.

As part of the launch of Target, we will be coordinating activity across the region.

You can also follow updates on Twitter – search for #OpTarget