Criminal intelligence gathered by the FWD has led to four arrests in 10 days.

Police were able to track and stop vehicles used in thefts thanks to information collated from incidents at different cash & carries.

One man was arrested on 31 December after a black Ford Focus suspected of being involved in 18 incidents reported through the FWD database was stopped in West Bromwich.

A further three men were held on 9 January after the FWD provided a description of a vehicle that was tracked by police and stopped in Stafford. The car contained large quantities of stolen cigarettes.

The two vehicles’ possible involvement in criminal activity was reported by FWD members across the West Midlands and North West. The FWD’s criminal intelligence data analyst Isabel Koppel spotted the patterns and passed details to the police.

“Without our database, this information would have only gone to the local police authority, and it’s unlikely the various reports would have been collated to the point where the police were confident enough to track down the vehicles,” FWD boss James Bielby said.