Norfolk

Hundreds arrested in Essex anti-burglary operation

More than 460 people, including 76 prolific offenders, have been arrested in Essex during a crackdown on burglaries of homes.

The arrests were part of Operation Girton which began last November.

Reports of burglary fell by 4% between April 2010 and March 2011 compared with the same period the previous year.

The crackdown saw officers across the county using both covert and overt tactics, including relentlessly following active burglars.

The suspects followed had previously been convicted for offences, including burglary, and police intelligence suggested they were actively involved in crime.

'Any lawful tactic'

Det Supt Ewen Wilson said: "Operation Girton was about Essex Police taking the game to the burglar and using any tactic lawfully available to us to remove key prolific offenders and reassure the public."

Patrols were stepped up in burglary hotspots across the county and officers used automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to track criminals.

Warrants were executed in search of drugs and stolen goods and householders were reminded to take simple steps to secure their homes.

The force has now established the Crime Operations Room (COPs) at its Chelmsford headquarters to analyse information and intelligence about key offenders to decide where and how to deploy resources.

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