Three Luton men charged in police crackdown on organised crime

They're caught as part of Operation Costello

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 10:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 10:04 am

Four more people have been arrested and charged as part of Operation Costello - Bedfordshire Police’s biggest ever crackdown on serious and organised crime.

Five warrants were carried out last week at properties in Luton and Milton Keynes, which resulted in three men from Luton and one man from Milton Keynes being charged with offences, including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and encouraging/assisting an offender.

During a search of the properties, a number of communication devices and around £2,000 in cash were seized.

Four men charged in crackdown on serious and organised crime

Operation Costello is Bedfordshire Police’s response to the national Operation Venetic, which looks at criminality associated with specialist encrypted phones.

Cracking the encryption on these specialist devices has enabled detectives to shine a light on the networks suspected of being involved in the highest levels of serious and organised crime across the country.

Around £3.6 million of special grant funding has recently been awarded to Operation Costello by the government to tackle the extraordinary challenges posed locally by organised crime. This is in addition to the £2.1 million already pledged towards the running of the operation earlier this year.

Since Operation Costello was launched just over a year ago, 110 warrants have been carried out, 55 people have been arrested and 34 people charged.

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“We are currently recruiting a dedicated and specialist team which will focus solely on tackling gangs suspected of being involved in serious offending such as large-scale drugs importation and weapons trafficking.

"The extra funding is a real statement of intent of the force’s commitment and determination to root out and attack organised crime. However, we do need our communities to speak up and help us target those individuals, who, for too long, have enjoyed their illegal spoils at the cost of others' quality of life.”

Anyone with information about drug dealing, county lines or child criminal exploitation can contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or via the force’s online reporting centre.

All of these reports are fed into police intelligence systems and can help officers build up a better picture of organised crime.

You can also report information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.