Crackdown on crime pays off

A police crackdown has seen burglary rates in west Norfolk slashed - with fewer than one burglary a day being committed in the last year. Recorded rates of vehicle crime have also been cut dramatically by Norfolk's western area police division in the past year.

A police crackdown has seen burglary rates in west Norfolk slashed - with fewer than one burglary a day being committed in the last year.

Recorded rates of vehicle crime have also been cut dramatically by Norfolk's western area police division in the past year.

Although the full annual figures for the county are not due until April, early indications show operations targeting persistent burglars and vehicle crime have paid off.

Between 2001 and 2006, burglary rates were reduced by 54pc and this year, to April 1, there have been 98 fewer offences than the 441 recorded crimes last year.

Western area Supt Nick Dean, said: "It is quite a success story. We have had a really remarkable success."

Between 2001 and 2006, rates of recorded vehicle crime in the western area went down by 48pc and this year, the division has already seen 73 fewer offences than last year's 1,613, with only days to go until the end of the year.

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One reason behind the success has mainly been using intelligence-based policing, but Supt Dean said working with other agencies had also helped.

"Through intelligence we have targeted our most prolific burglars," he said. "We have told them we would be keeping a watch on them and visiting them daily.

"We have had high-profile policing, identifying houses which could be empty or contain valuables, and distributed leaflets in different languages. We have also worked with the probation service and with drug and alcohol referrals and we have been very successful in terms of working with these offenders, trying to put some support behind them.

"But if they don't take up that support then we aim to catch and convict."

It was the persistent career criminals that were the police's main target.

Supt Dean said: "There are a small number of people committing a large amount of crimes, especially persistent vehicle crimes and burglaries.

"These people are prolific and career criminals, whatever methods we use to combat their activities they find a way to get around it.

"In the last year we have also had huge strides in drugs throughout the year, with big-name players dealing large quantities of drugs put away for considerable amounts of time."