An organised crew of burglars that had carried out hundreds of robberies across the north west of England was brought down by a sophisticated plan hatched by Merseyside Police, it has been revealed.
Detective Inspector Tony O’Brien, who heads up the force’s Operation Castle to tackle organised crime, told the Liverpool Echo the work involved data sharing and intelligence gathering.
Noting that the criminal gangs would “travel well”, he explained: “We realised that one week we were having a spate of incidents in maybe the Wirral, and then the next in Sefton and then some in St Helens.”
A combination of intelligence gathering and undercover work led to a spate of arrests, with burglaries dropping by 55 per cent since the launch of Operation Castle and a combined total of over 600 years of jail terms being handed out to convicted burglars.
Among the other steps the force has taken to reduce burglaries has been to concentrate more on vulnerable areas, including those with a large student population and districts with a lack of security elements like locked gates and CCTV.
The fact is that burglars can be deterred by the presence of security devices and while the town may not be facing a wave of crimes on such a scale, CCTV installation in Slough can give householders greater assurance that they will not be targeted, either by individuals or organised criminal gangs.
CCTV can also help identify criminals, with DI O’Brien explaining that crooks will often pass many doors and be spotted by cameras before they locate a vulnerable home they can break into.
Knowing which areas are at greatest risk of burglary is a key element of police intelligence that forces all over the UK can draw on. For example, in East Yorkshire the police have released details of the areas at highest risk, with those living in Hull City Centre seeing the greatest per capita total of offences, Hull Live reports.
Similarly, some areas of Slough and the rest of Berkshire will be at more risk than others.