Police in West Yorkshire will be visiting 50 of the county’s most prolific burglars before Christmas in a bid to tackle the predicted high rates of acquisitive crime in the festive period,
Officers will visit known criminals in each district to let them know that if they break the law over the festive season they risk spending Christmas or the New Year behind bars.
Teams from across the force will also pay regular ‘disruption visits’ to the prolific criminals to keep them in check throughout the month and gather intelligence on their movements.
West Yorkshire saw 24,408 burglaries in the year to June, giving the county one of the highest rates of the crime nationwide. This is despite an eight per cent fall compared with the previous 12 months.
In November, a watchdog warned that many types of crime are not being investigated well enough in West Yorkshire because the county’s police force is too focused on tackling burglary.
In the run-up to December 25th, Christmas cards will be hand-delivered with a message reminding criminals that they are being watched and will face serious consequences if they continue their life of crime.
West Yorkshire Police says burglary rates go up over the festive season as the darker nights make it more obvious when people are not at home and many properties are well stocked with food and gifts.
Superintendent Pat Casserly, who leads West Yorkshire’s Operation Viper, said: “Since 2010/2011, domestic burglaries in Leeds have been cut by 55 per cent - a massive reduction that reflects a dedicated and targeted approach to limiting the activities of prolific offenders all year round. This Christmas we are taking the fight back to some of West Yorkshire’s most prolific offenders and warning them once again that we know where they are and what they are up to.”