Anti-Burglary operation hailed a success

A Community Safety Partnership operation - aimed at tackling burglary in the dark winter months last year - has been hailed a success.

Statistics from Merseyside Police show it resulted in a 24 per cent drop in the number of domestic burglaries throughout the borough (45 fewer incidents between October and December 2010 compared with the same period in 2009).New stati

Funding was provided by St Helens Council to increase undercover police patrols in burglary hot-spot areas – keeping an eye on local neighbourhoods in unmarked police vehicles. In addition, more officers in uniform patrolled the streets at key times and in key locations.

Scheduled to take place when rates of domestic burglary are known to increase, the targeted action resulted in 25 arrests for burglary or burglary-related offences. Among them were two men, well-known to Merseyside Police and local agencies as ‘prolific and priority offenders’ (responsible for a disproportionately large amount of crime in St. Helens). The men were arrested for burglary – one of them just 14 hours after being released from prison.

Officers witnessed another man leaving the scene of a burglary in Haydock in a stolen Mini. He was spotted driving the vehicle in Liverpool the following day, arrested and charged with theft of a motor vehicle.

Chief Inspector Keith Mclachlan said: "Burglary has traditionally increased in the run-up to Christmas for the previous four years. The operations during this period in 2010 have led to a reverse in this trend. This success is down to the hard work of our officers and has built upon the experience and successes of similar operations in 2009.

"We are doing all that we can to prevent burglaries, but we need the public's help. Make sure your home is safe and secure by keeping your doors and windows locked – it’s a simple step, but is the most effective way of keeping burglars out."

Councillor Susan Murphy, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Safer Communities and Youth said, “The operation was just one of a number of tactics used by Merseyside Police and Community Safety Partners to tackle expected rises in domestic burglary during the dark nights of winter.

“High-visibility policing was increased and a number of crime prevention roadshows were held in vulnerable areas. Merseyside Police also ran door-to-door exercises –which involved trying the handles to properties to ensure they were locked.

“Overall this partnership approach to tackling crime has proved successful, and we will continue to work together to reduce crime.”