West Yorkshire Police out delivering ‘greetings’ to crooks

PC Roger Copeland with the Operation Viper Christmas Cards.
PC Roger Copeland with the Operation Viper Christmas Cards.
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Police are warning known criminals to stay off the naughty list this Christmas by delivering serious seasonal cards to their homes.

As part of the Operation Viper crackdown, West Yorkshire Police officers are out hand-delivering hundreds of cards with the message to “be good or have a very miserable Christmas” to would-be burglars.

The anti-crime greetings are aimed at the region’s most wanted and prolific burglars that police suspect of crimes, are active in communities or have had recent arrests or convictions.

Operation Viper is making use of number plate recognition, analysis technology to predict where crimes are likely to occur as well as high visibility and covert activities to tackle offenders committing a range of crimes.

Chief Superintendant Dave Oldroyd, who is leading the force-wide operation, explained that police are pooling resources and expertise to ensure criminals “are not comfortable upsetting our communities”.

He told the YEP: “It’s reminding them to behave themselves and that it will be very disturbing for them and their families to be in prison over Christmas.

“If they do continue offending we will focus our officers on locking them up and they can have porridge on the 25th.”

The card deliveries, which will be staggered across the region, will see officers knocking on doors and issuing individual warnings to would-be burglars in the run-up to Christmas.

As well as offering a few stern words, officers will also offer those targeted advice and the chance to engage with the police’s Offender Management Unit, which can help people with issues such as drug addiction.

Chief Supt Oldroyd said: “This is over and above what’s already occurring – it’s not a new approach but it’s bringing together skills and technologies and aiming them all in the right direction.”

He added that the force needs help from the public to help reduce incidents of crime this year by locking windows and doors, using security lighting where possible and keeping valuables out of view.

To report criminal activity to the police, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk for information on Operation Viper and crime prevention.

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