A NEW crime unit has been set-up in the Thames Valley to fight the threat posed by serious organised crime across South East England.

The new South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) has been set-up in response to crime across the Thames Valley, Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

Today police officers and staff from Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent will transfer to Thames Valley Police as part of the unit.

SEROCU will be under the command of Assistant Chief Constable, Brendan O’Dowda and it aims to bring together the current regional organised crime units under one structure.

ACC Brendan O’Dowda, said: “There are hundreds of organised crime groups operating across the region.

“Many are involved in large scale drug distribution, gang and gun related activity, violence, organised serious acquisitive crime and the deliberate targeting and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“With the development of the existing and new specialist capabilities within SEROCU, I am sure we can continue and build on the excellent work to tackle those criminal groups that are impacting upon our many communities every day.

“We are creating a new regional Cyber Crime Unit and Confidential Unit both of which will be co-located with counter terrorism colleagues. We are also expanding our capacity and capability around Prison Intelligence and Fraud.

“This is an exciting step forward and one that brings us so many opportunities to protect the public and put hardened criminals where they belong - on the receiving end of justice!”