Cops crackdown on vehicle crime in Wolverhampton
Up to £2 million worth of stolen vehicles have been recovered and almost 200 suspects charged during a crackdown on car thefts across Wolverhampton.
The city has seen a 24 per cent reduction in vehicle crime over the last 12 months - a drop of nearly 500 offences - after launching a dedicated drive to tackle thieves.
Stolen cars can often be used by crooks as getaways in other crimes, such as robberies and burglaries, or stripped by organised gangs at chop shops.
Wolverhampton Police set up the vehicle crime initiative team last autumn to investigate the amount of motors being broken into or stolen across the area.
This has involved officers establishing crime patterns and identifying suspects at the earliest opportunity. Then working alongside force CID and the city's neighbourhood taskforce team there have been scores of arrests and offences cut by almost a quarter.
Since January alone there have been 196 stolen vehicles ranging from an £80,000 Mercedes, Fiestas to camper vans being located. This has included stolen cars and parts being identified to elsewhere in the country and Europe.
It comes as there has also been a forcewide push to tackle vehicle crime with an overall fall of nearly 16 per cent.
Chief Inspector Hasson Shigdar, from Woverhampton Police, said: "We fully understand the anger and frustration that is caused by being a victim of vehicle theft. It can have a real impact on people's daily lives.
"There is also further crimes linked to stolen cars such as chop shops or being used by crooks to commit further offences.
"With this in mind we made a committed effort to tackle the issue across Wolverhampton. We now have a team armed with sophisticated intelligence and means we can stop any organised activity early.
"Despite significantly cutting vehicle thefts we will continue with our relentless approach to protecting the public, reducing victims and catching offenders."
Victims of vehicle crime or anyone with information on suspects can contact the force via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk, or via 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.