Exclusive: Hundreds of gangs coordinating crime across Yorkshire

GROUNDBREAKING research has revealed for the first time the extent to which hundreds of sophisticated organised gangs with international links have spread their tentacles across the region, coordinating crime in Yorkshire’s towns and rural areas and grooming youngsters for recruitment.

New police mapping techniques launched over the past six months and seen by the Yorkshire Post have revealed there are now 244 known organised crime groups in the region, with significant involvement in drugs, human trafficking, firearms and money laundering as well as links to organisations across the world.

While the majority of the gangs are based in cities across South and West Yorkshire, research undertaken in Bradford by a specialist team of officers has revealed for the first time the groups are fuelling crime in some of Yorkshire’s most rural areas, coordinating drug dealing, high-value thefts of antiques from stately homes and stealing luxury cars to order.

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Officers have also now established a disturbing process of graduation, with children as young as 10 being groomed to progress through the criminal underworld.

Today the Yorkshire Post begins a two-day investigation into gangs across the region.

Det Chief Supt Clive Wain, regional commander for Odyssey, the umbrella name for all operational, intelligence and crime units across Yorkshire, said: “There is now a real opportunity and obligation to do something about this.”

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