New move to target rural crime in Norfolk

Police have launched a major operation to target night-time crime in rural areas close to the Norfolk and Suffolk border in the run up to Christmas.

Operation Breakout, a joint initiative piloted by both Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies, is designed to combat overnight crime along the county boundaries of Breckland, South Norfolk, Forest Heath and Mid-Suffolk.

The innovative operation, which started on Monday, involves officers from both forces working together targeting offenders who commit such crimes as burglaries of homes and outbuildings and theft of oil, fuel and metal – all crimes which tend to peak overnight.

The operation will involve:

High visibility patrols with officers from both forces patrolling together between 8pm and 4am along the border area.

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Targeting those suspected in involvement of rural crimes including burglary, vehicle crime theft of metal and fuels.

Chief Insp Tracey Prowting, who is responsible for policing in South Norfolk, said: 'Operation Breakout will combine the knowledge and experience of local officers from Norfolk and Suffolk, who will work together to enhance the policing service to rural communities by disrupting those who carry out crime in the areas around our border.

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'This intelligence-led operation is a local policing solution to a local policing problem.'

One of the key aims of the operation was to provide members of the public living in these border communities with the reassurance that high visibility patrols are provided in the run up to Christmas.

Chief Insp Prowting added the operation would complement existing policing operations – like the rural crime initiative Operation Randall and metal theft and distraction burglary probe Operation Radar –which have already had significant successes.

Operation Randall, launched in December last year, is a scheme which has encouraged farmers and landowners to work with police to help identify, disrupt and deter criminals targeting the Norfolk countryside.

Intelligence gathered as part of the operation has enabled police to link 86 people across the network of criminals connected with Randall. Since the operation started 75 arrests have been made. Operation Radar helped ensure there were 30pc fewer distraction burglaries in the county up to August this year.

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