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'Ring of steel' tightens as police operation launches in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 14:18 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:18 28 May 2019

A policing team dedicated to Operation Moonshot has gone live in Great Yarmouth today, Tuesday May 28.
It involves mobile and fixed number-plate recognition cameras keeping an eye on vehicles coming in and out of the county Picture: Great Yarmouth Police

A policing team dedicated to Operation Moonshot has gone live in Great Yarmouth today, Tuesday May 28. It involves mobile and fixed number-plate recognition cameras keeping an eye on vehicles coming in and out of the county Picture: Great Yarmouth Police

Great Yarmouth Police

Technology aimed at detecting uninsured, untaxed or unroadworthy vehicles, along with those suspected of being linked to organised crime has gone live in Great Yarmouth today, Tuesday May 28.

Operation Moonshot was first launched in west Norfolk three years ago.

It uses automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which provide live intelligence to officers on patrol.

Since April 2016, police have made 679 arrests, seized hundreds of uninsured or unroadworthy vehicles and found large quantities of drugs and stolen property.

Police in Great Yarmouth took to social media to introduce the new team.

In a post on Facebook they said: "A hi-tech police operation under the name Moonshot is going live today based in Great Yarmouth, with the ability and training to use the latest technology and intelligence to target criminals in and around the Great Yarmouth and South Norfolk area.

"Moonshot teams have already been set up in Norwich and West Norfolk and have resulted in over 600 arrests for crimes such as drugs, uninsured vehicles and wanted persons.

"The team led by Sgt Tungatt intends to focus on the criminals using vehicles to commit crime."

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Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green revealed last month he was making £190,000 available to set up the system in the east of the county.

He said the aim was to complete a "ring of steel" which could more easily detect people coming in and out of Norfolk with "malign intentions."

Moonshot was first launched as a trial on the A1101 between Downham Market and Wisbech.

It was so successful that officers seconded to it were made a permanent team, while the technology was extended across west Norfolk.

Part of the operation's success was due to officers' time being "ring-fenced", it has been claimed, with those in the Moonshot team "unencumbered" by the routine calls other PCs have to attend.

Officers always operate as a double crew, and carry Tasers due to the type of criminals they could be dealing with.

They are then placed on the main routes into the county, or in areas where criminals have been known to strike.

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