Crime crackdown hailed a success
By Liz HearnshawA ZERO tolerance campaign has been hailed a success after removing persistent criminals from the streets.Almost 70 of the region's worst repeat criminals were arrested during Suffolk police's year-long First Impact initiative in the west of the county, preventing more than 400 offences from being committed.
By Liz Hearnshaw
A ZERO tolerance campaign has been hailed a success after removing persistent criminals from the streets.
Almost 70 of the region's worst repeat criminals were arrested during Suffolk police's year-long First Impact initiative in the west of the county, preventing more than 400 offences from being committed.
Police chiefs said the campaign had been a great success and pledged to build on the scheme for a similar countywide scheme named Operation Endurance.
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During the initiative, 68 repeat known offenders were arrested, resulting in a drop in both vehicle crime and house burglaries.
Officers said about 430 offences were subsequently prevented due to the careful targeting and disruption of criminal activity through intelligence-led policing.
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Detective Chief Inspector Andy Henwood, of Suffolk police, said: “It is a well-known fact that the minority of offenders are responsible for committing the majority of crime.
“Quality of life can be severely impaired by the criminal activity of these offenders and we will not tolerate this in Suffolk.
“As such we piloted a scheme with other agencies in the west - including district councils and the Suffolk Community Arrest Referral Services - to target persistent offenders, disrupt their criminal activity and reduce the misery they cause.”
He added: “Over the period of a year, we identified 78 offenders who were committing the majority of the crime in west Suffolk. These offenders were targeted via intelligence-led policing and, as such, 68 of them were arrested during 2003.
“I firmly believe that it is no coincidence that acquisitive crime, such as burglary and thefts from vehicles, reduced during this focused and prolonged period of policing.
“During the year, there were 386 fewer victims of vehicle crime and 50 fewer people who suffered the heartache of having their house burgled.”
Operation Endurance will see police focus on the causes of crime and attempt to address the reasons why offences are committed, utilising resources from the Crown Prosecution Service and Probation Service.
Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull, who is heading the countrywide campaign, said: “By putting resources into targeting these people, we can have a greater impact on reducing crime in the county and, by doing so, improve local people's quality of life.
“These are aims which form a central part of Suffolk First, the campaign to make the county the safest in the country.
“We will not stop targeting these individuals, nor will we, along with our partners, give up on helping them keep on the right side of the law.
“Together, we are taking an extremely robust stance against these persistent offenders to send them the clear message that we are watching them - and any criminal activity on their part will not be tolerated.”
Anyone with information regarding persistent offenders should contact Suffolk police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.