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Warwickshire Burglars Warned In Crackdown

Warwickshire’s police chief has written to known offenders warning them to stay out of trouble during a major burglary crackdown.

Nearly 60 people who have been charged, cautioned, convicted or released from jail for burglary in the last months are being given a hand-delivered letter.

Acting Chief Constable Mick Brewer has warned the recipients that if they commit crime to feed a drugs habit they should seek help for their addiction or face the consequences. A leaflet with the addresses and telephone numbers of advice centres is included.

Speaking at the launch of Operation Impact he said that there would be no excuses for violating people’s property.

He is warning repeat offenders that changes in the law mean they are likely to face a stiffer sentence if convicted three times for burglary.

And the courts will be told of the letter if the people who have been given a warning ignore it and end up being charged with a crime.

High-profile operations in burglary blackspots are to be carried out all over the county as part of the two-month crackdown launched to meet new Government targets.

There will also be covert surveillance operations to capture burglars, and the public will be encouraged to report any suspicious activity.

Every burgled house will be treated as a major scene of crime, and all the stops will be pulled to catch the offenders.

Mr Brewer pledged to bring in scientists to gather the latest forensic evidence to help track the criminals.

He said:

“Over the last five years we have made quite a considerable impact in Warwickshire steadily reducing the amount of this type of crime, but we don’t want to stop there.”

He said the decision to warn known offenders to seek help for any drug, alcohol or financial problems rather than turn to crime was based on the success of referral schemes operating throughout the county.

Mr Brewer said if successful, the operation could be extended.

Detective Inspector Mak Chishty added;

“The message is quite simple. We do recognise that crime is committed for a different number of causes.

“If you need help go out and get it. Don’t commit crime – it’s not going to help you.”

Detective Chief Inspector Ken Lawrence, crime manager for the north of the county, said operations would be carried out in each town.

He said Warwickshire’s problems with crime were compounded by offenders visiting from nearby cities such as Coventry and Birmingham.

And he said it wasn’t just large rural houses that were at risk.

He said:

“I don’t think you can value a burglary by the total property stolen – it’s the impact on people’s lives.”
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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / Warwickshire Constabulary / 2 May 00

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