Eyes in the Skies as Police and Partners Tackle Grove Hill Crime

Police and partners working long term in Middlesbrough’s Grove Hill have turned to technology in their on-going fight against crime and antisocial behaviour.

Drone Police now have “eyes in the skies”, using a drone over the area as part of the on-going Operation Smoke, which also involves officers and colleagues from Middlesbrough Council, Cleveland Fire Brigade and housing providers.

Intelligence gathering is at the heart of the drone activity, and Temporary Sgt Steve Hodgson said the operation, which started in mid-May, aims to improve quality of life for the law-abiding majority of Grove Hill residents:

“We have had some great successes so far - vehicles seized for having no insurance or for being suspected stolen, numerous people reported for summons for cycling or driving offences, arrests for various crimes including public order, assaulting a police officer, possessing offensive weapons and criminal damage among others.

“We continue to work with our partners and in terms of housing we have worked with Thirteen Group to make sure that problem tenants and families are removed from their houses. 

“Residents should be assured we will continue this operation as long as necessary and that they should continue to report concerns to us so that we can take action.

“Using the drone is an extremely valuable additional tool in our on-going fight against crime.  Criminals should be aware we have been watching them and they could expect us to knock on their door to speak to them about their activity.

“Finally, we do rely heavily on the community to provide us with information on who is committing crime or drug dealing.  I’d like to thank Grove Hill residents for getting on board with this operation and the feedback I’m receiving is that our efforts are very much appreciated.”