Operation Unite started at the beginning of November 2011 and will run through until April 2012. The aim of the operation is to reduce ‘Serious Acquisitive Crime’ which includes burglary, robbery, vehicle crime and metal theft across Sandwell.
A dedicated team of officers is working on the operation and tactics include:
- Daily contact with offenders known to be involved in these crime types, thereby disrupting their activity and reducing the risk of them offending.
- Robust use of the prosecution system to bring offenders to justice.
- Support for offenders who wish to stop their criminal lifestyle, by working with other agencies who can help with problems such as drug and alcohol dependency.
- Crime prevention advice for victims and vulnerable members of the community.
- Regular visits to second hand dealers and scrap merchants to ensure that they are operating within the law.
The officer leading the operation, Detective Inspector Dale Randle says: “Operation Unite was set up to ensure that the fall in acquisitive crime Sandwell Police achieved in the six months up to November continues through the winter.
“We identified a number of offenders committing offences in Sandwell. We aim to work with our partners to relentlessly target these offenders, through the criminal justice system and the use of civil tools and powers, which could lead to eviction from their homes and the application of injunctions and Cr/ASBOs”
Operation Unite has already seen a large number of successes, which include:
- Since the start of the operation 22 warrants have been executed and 80 arrests made. ·
- Over 120 offenders are being taken through the civil process to allow police to control their behaviour through Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs), Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Orders (CRASBOs).
- Lead and other metals are being permanently marked at schools and commercial premises with a portable laser jet printer to deter metal thieves and assist the recovery of stolen items.
- Officers are visiting scrap yards weekly to ensure correct book keeping and encourage best practice, working with Sandwell homes, Sandwell council and the Benefits Agency.
- Areas potentially vulnerable to burglary are being offered SmartWater property marking, a solution with a unique forensic code, similar to DNA. Additional homes are being offered barcodes to mark their larger items of value.
The team is urging members of the public to report suspicious activity to the police by calling the new non-emergency number 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
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