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Next recruitment wave in our biggest operation to tackle serious and organised crime

20 Sep 2021

We are on the hunt for dozens more officers and staff to work in a range of roles under Operation Costello – a specialist operation which is set to be the force’s biggest ever crackdown on serious and organised crime.

The team has been created to focus solely on tackling gangs suspected of being involved in serious offending such as large-scale drugs importation and weapons trafficking.

We were recently awarded a £3.6 million special grant from the Home Office to fund the unit for a second year, with this the second phase of the Costello recruitment drive.

The team will be responsible for leading on and supporting investigations into criminal gangs identified under the national Operation Venetic, where international law enforcement cracked an encrypted communications network used by organised crime.

Roles include financial investigators, intelligence officers, case officers and a dedicated communications officer.

Since Operation Costello was launched a year ago, more than 100 warrants have been carried out and over 50 arrests made, which has resulted in 29 charges.

Nearly 100 kilos of Class A drugs and more than £1 million in assets have been seized in Luton by the force and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

Enforcement activity in the last few weeks led to three more people being arrested after four kilograms of cocaine with a street value of more than £200,000 was recovered after an operation in Luton.

In July, four members of an organised crime gang based in Luton, which imported and sold hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine, were jailed for more than 50 years, with around £250,000 worth of drugs and £150,000 in cash seized.

Detective Superintendent Nick Skipworth, who is leading Operation Costello, said: “Operation Costello is the largest operation in our history to combat organised crime gangs and we will be going after the major players involved in the importation and distribution of drugs locally.

“This is why we need dynamic, tenacious and self-motivated individuals to join us in this huge but exciting challenge, and help us take down these criminal gangs that are running around and causing so much misery in our communities.

“We are looking for people who have a keen interest in investigating serious and complex crime and also have a good working knowledge of new or emerging capabilities and technology. I really want to hear from people who think they have the skills and experience necessary to help us achieve real and lasting change under Costello.”

All roles are initially being offered on a 12-month fixed term contract, with any extension beyond that dependent on future funding.

To view the full range of roles available and apply visit the Op Costello recruitment page on our website.

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