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West Mercia Police bids to drive down burglaries
7:00am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
A HIGHER than expected number of burglaries in the West Mercia Police area has prompted them to today launch a new forcewide initiative to drive them down.
The force has targets to ensure no more than 10 burglaries a day are committed across its area, which includes Wyre Forest.
It says burglary levels remain relatively low compared to other parts of the country but there have been around 140 more burglaries across the force area since April than had been expected, based on previous years’ crime patterns.
In response, West Mercia Police is launching the Citadel initiative. The force’s new Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Gareth Morgan is leading the initiative, which involves operational tactics to catch burglars and a targeted crime prevention advice campaign.
They include greater analysis of crime patterns, co-ordinated use of new technology and partnership work, as well as more traditional policing tactics, such as high-visibility patrols in burglary hotspots.
The new approaches are being targeted on known or suspected criminals and have led to the arrest of more than 600 people since April.
Where the evidence is sufficiently strong those people are being charged by the Crown Prosecution Service and sent to court.
Since April, 2010, 1,237 people living in West Mercia have been convicted of burglary.
ACC Morgan said: “West Mercia Police is being very proactive and we are seeing the results of our focused operational activity every day.
“However, there is a lot that homeowners and businesses can do to make their properties more secure. We are concerned that many people to do not take the threat of burglary seriously enough.
“Experience tells us that burglars often live reasonably close to their victims. They work a local patch and will return to or near to properties they have already broken into. Every day we have burglaries reported to us where someone has entered a property through an open window or an unlocked door”.
“West Mercia Police is urging people to act on the crime prevention advice they regularly receive from the force and other local organisations.”
He added: “More detailed crime prevention advice is available on the force website and will be promoted through a new Twitter account, @CitadelWMP.”
ACC Morgan went on: “Homeowners can also help by ringing 999 if they see anything suspicious in their area or by providing information on people we are interested in speaking to about burglaries.
“Today, we have published details of some of these people on the new ‘Wanted’ section of the force website and this page will be developed over the coming weeks to display images of individuals we wish to trace in relation to a wide variety of offences.
“If you know anything about anyone featured on this page, where they are now living for example, please call us on 101 or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111 and we will then pay them a visit.”
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