Operation Julius returns to beat the burglars
A PREVIOUSLY successful police operation is returning to Lancashire as part of a drive to combat burglary.
Operation Julius launches on Tuesday (1 October) aimed at preventing crime, targeting criminals and detecting burglaries across the county.
This year’s campaign has been extended across autumn and winter, initially covering three distinct areas. ‘Pursue’ will involve targeting known burglary offenders and will be the focus for October, in November ‘prosecute’ will focus on bringing offenders to justice and ‘prevent’ will be the emphasis in December, aimed at stopping communities becoming victims of burglary.
Officers will use a range of overt and covert tactics during the crackdown to tackle suspected offenders and disrupt their activity. Lancashire’s top 30 burglary suspects will be visited, officers will be executing warrants and high visibility police patrols will be carried out in hot spot areas.
Crime prevention advice will be given to public on the Constabulary’s Twitter @lancspolice and on Facebook with the hashtag #Julius, as well as at community events hosted by local neighbourhood policing teams to help residents becoming burglary victims.
Last year’s operation in February 2012 saw a total over 350 people arrested, almost £30,000 of stolen property recovered and 183 search warrants carried out. Officers searched over 2,800 suspects, seized 89 vehicles and visited more than 346 second hand shops.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates, who is leading the campaign, said: “We have seen a slight increase in burglary over the past couple of months throughout the county which is why it is so important that we are running this campaign, letting burglars know that their crimes will not be tolerated and we know who they are.
“Burglary can have such a negative impact, not only to victims but to the wider community. This campaign is about focusing our activities on those people who persistently commit burglary so we can reduce even further the number of victims affected by these crimes.
“We know that on average, nearly a third of household burglaries happen because the resident has left their property insecure. In the lead up to Christmas when it goes darker sooner and people have been buying Christmas gifts, we usually see an increase in domestic burglaries so we really want residents to take on board any crime prevention advice we give them.
“It is disappointing to know that amongst those that have taken place, many could have been avoided through simple crime prevention measures. We need people to work with us to help themselves when it comes to combating crime and locking out thieves.”
Residents are being urged to;
• Keep front and back doors locked and windows closed
• If windows are open keep them on the latch so that they cannot be opened further from outside
• Fit a door chain and use it whenever you answer the door to an unexpected caller
• Keep side gates locked
• Use a strong lock on sheds, garages and other outbuildings
• Consider fitting outdoor security lighting
• Keep an eye on neighbouring properties and if you see anything suspicious contact police.
Further crime prevention advice is available by visiting www.lancashire.police.uk.
Anyone with information or concerns about burglary can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.