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Issue:- 3 May  2012

The new Titan website is now online!

A new website was launched on Tuesday, 1 May 2012, to promote the work of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan). Since Titan was launched in April 2009, 225 criminals across the region have been sentenced to 731 years in prison. More than £2million of stolen goods have been recovered, 21 firearms have been taken off the streets and drugs with a street value of nearly £10million have been seized.

Titan is a collaboration of the 6 regional forces; Merseyside, Lancashire, GMP, North Wales, Cumbria and Cheshire and was formed to combat serious and organised crime that crosses the borders of counties in the North West. The Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART), Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU), Regional Crime Unit (RCU) and The Police Central e-Crime Unit (PcECU) set up to tackle cyber crime and cyber attacks, operate under the umbrella of Titan to help combat crime across the North West. The RART was launched in 2004 and since then has stripped £27, 696,624 of criminal assets from offenders. The unit tackles those involved in crimes such as drug trafficking, firearms, armed robberies, cash-in-transit attacks and aggravated burglaries. The website features details of all 17 operations that Titan officers have investigated since the launch of the unit 2 years ago. Among the operations include investigations where two Merseyside men have been sentenced to life for firearms offences, eight members of a Lancashire and Merseyside OCG who received more than 63 years in jail for drug trafficking and nine men from Greater Manchester who were jailed for 84 years for trafficking cocaine and heroin throughout the North West.

Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson said:- "The website showcases the work of Titan which sends a strong message to those prepared to engage in violent and organised crime that we will find you and we will put you behind bars. The unit works hard with the six regional police forces, as well as partner agencies, to take criminals off our streets and to strip them of their ill-gotten gains. Titan is committed to tackling organised crime groups and their associated criminality, which has a huge impact on residents across the North West We will continue to work pro-actively to disrupt these criminals and ultimately take them off the streets to make our communities a safer place."

The website can be viewed at:-

Anyone with any information about serious criminality is asked to call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.

CAMRA releases new national pub closure research

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale have released new national research showing that with over 300 community locals having permanently shut in just 6 months, crippling beer tax increases by the Government continue to threaten the future of traditional pubs. The news comes as over 33,000 consumers have signed a national e-petition in recent weeks to bring an end to above inflation beer tax increases. CAMRA's research shows 73% of regular pub goers support a freeze in beer duty.  National research commissioned by CAMRA has found that Britain's national pub closure rate now stands at 12 pubs per week, and away from Britain's city centre high streets; where a net loss of just 6 pubs in total has occurred across Britain in 6 months; rural pubs are closing at a net rate of 4 per week, and suburban at 8 per week.  With pubs hit by an inflation-busting 42% increase in beer duty since 2008, CAMRA is continuing to rally beer drinkers to sign an e-petition to call an end to above inflation increases in beer tax, thus giving struggling pubs a degree of respite in the current climate:- With over 33,000 consumers backing the petition, CAMRA is lobbying to secure 100,000 signatures and force a debate in Parliament on an issue causing great damage to communities across Britain.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive, said:- "Whether situated in a small village, city high street, or on the edge of a housing estate, pubs are so central to our society that whole communities can grow around a particular pub. A threat to the future of traditional pubs is therefore also a threat to countless social groups within Britain that thrive because of their local. Unsustainable beer tax increases by the Government are ripping the heart out of community centres, but with over 33,000 consumers having recently signed the beer tax e-petition, beer drinkers and pub goers are actively voicing their discontent. CAMRA is now campaigning to secure 100,000 signatures, which would force Parliament to debate above inflation rises in beer duty."

CAMRA has also today released new figures showing the worst hit areas of Britain for pub closures. Breaking down some of the largest counties across the country, targeted figures show how in 6 months (September 2011 to March 2012) an area such as Lancashire has lost 68 pubs, whilst the West Midlands has lost 37.  A full breakdown of the number of pubs lost in the last 6 months; thoughout United Kingdom; can be viewed at:-

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