Three police forces join up in biggest ever clampdown on foreign criminals

Three police forces have teamed up to target foreign criminals in the biggest such operation in the North East.

Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland forces launch Operation Kestrel in a bid to combat the harm caused by foreign national offenders.

Northumbria Police assistant chief constable Helen McMillan and director of emigration enforcement at the Home Office, Eddy Montgomery.

Northumbria Police assistant chief constable Helen McMillan and director of emigration enforcement at the Home Office, Eddy Montgomery.

Raids are taking place across the region, where officers are looking not only for criminals but also attempting to identify victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. Led by Northumbria Police, Operation Kestrel also involves officers from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement section, the Department for Work and Pensions, and charities.

The team will carry out raids based on community intelligence and will also visit businesses known for employing illegal workers, such as nail bars and car washes.

They will also clamp down on landlords who let properties to foreign nationals with no right to remain in the UK.

Northumbria Police assistant chief constable Helen McMillan said: “We will be targeting organised criminality, both foreign nationals and UK residents and those who seek to prey on the vulnerable, either those who are foreign nationals who find themselves here against their will who have been trafficked here, or who find themselves being exploited by organised crime gangs, and those British residents who are either part of that criminality or are victims themselves.”

We will be targeting organised criminality, both foreign nationals and UK residents and those who seek to prey on the vulnerable

Helen McMillan, Assistant Chief Constable – Northumbria Police

Director of Immigration Enforcement, Eddy Montgomery, said: “Illegal immigration cuts across the work of a number of law enforcement agencies and the wider community and economy, and that’s why we are working with the police and other law enforcement agencies allows us to create a more comprehensive intelligence picture”

“We always target those who work here illegally, those who provide accommodation to those with no right to remain in the UK, and we will also look top protect those who are victims of modern slavery.”