Annual Report 2022 - 2023 - Page 8

Cracking Down on Burglary and Robbery

Anyone who is a victim of burglary and robbery knows the long term financial and emotional impacts it can have.

Cracking down on residential burglary
We know that burglary is an incredibly personal, and invasive crime which can shatter confidence and feelings of safety. Everyone has a right to feel safe and be safe in their homes and nobody should ever have to experience being burgled. This campaign will tackle residential burglary and target both prolific and opportunistic offenders using data and intelligence from our communities, as well as using new technologies to support forensic opportunities.
Forcewide Burglary Lead, Chief Inspector Chris Abbott

Whether you have your home broken into, your business targeted or are robbed in the street, it has a lasting impact on you. It impacts on how safe you feel, your financial and mental well-being and your ability to run your business.

The initial policing response to reports is important both in terms of any investigation, but also the confidence that the public has in policing generally. Here in Lancashire, we didn’t need to be told about the need that every victim needs to be visited by a police officer, this is already something that is extremely important to us.

We have made real progress in relation to burglary and robbery, both residential and businesses. I have seen the proactive approaches being taken in hotspots and against frequent reoffenders and I’ll continue to back the Chief Constable with the resources he needs to prevent victims and protect the public.

2022/23 Highlights

Op Defender

In September 2022 I joined Lancashire Constabulary in launching Op Defender, a campaign I have funded that is cracking down on residential burglary. This supports the Constabulary’s efforts to proactively target prolific offenders and ensure they have their day in court and are put behind bars.

As well as strengthening our response to residential burglary and arresting those who selfishly ruin lives by committing these offences, the campaign also strengthens relationships with communities and partners to help residents better protect themselves. As well as robustly targeting repeat and opportunistic offenders, analytics and information from the public are used to study burglary patterns to ensure we target hotspots and prevent further victims.

The latest figures show a four per cent decrease in residential burglaries in the area, with 203 fewer victims compared with 2021/2022 and 1,800 fewer victims than in 2019/2020.

Officers arrested 1,000 people for burglary and robbery offences in the last 12 months, with 69 per cent of burglary victims satisfied with the service provided.

The campaign particularly focusses on tackling repeat offenders and stopping them in their tracks, whilst also offering advice and resources to those who have been a victim of burglary in the past or are most at risk.

Through increased engagement with people across Lancashire and intelligence that officers can act on, alongside utilising the newest technology to track offenders down, all whilst protecting the most vulnerable, we are cracking down on burglary and sending a clear message to offenders that they will be stopped.

£900k Safer Streets Funding

During Summer 2022, I welcomed news that two bids I supported received almost £900k from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund.

These projects support the delivery of my Fighting Crime Plan, with Blackburn with Darwen Council awarded £750k aimed at making the Queens Park and Highercroft areas safer, including investment into home security packages. Preston Council were also successful and seeing over £146k, including CCTV used to target crime and anti-social behaviour in the centre of the city, with a particular focus on the night-time economy.

The funding came through round four of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, that sees grants given to projects that will reduce neighbourhood crime such as burglary and robbery, anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls (VAWG). It’s a great example of how by working together, identifying issues and committing to a proactive, solutions-based approach we can invest into communities and fight crime.

Business Crime

Burglary and robbery have been key issues raised at meetings with Business Investment Districts (BIDs), Chambers of Commerce and during visits into the community on the beat with police officers.

Protecting businesses and the people who work in them is crucial and something that I support the Constabulary in, with responding to burglary and robbery a key part of the overall response by policing in relation to crimes that impact businesses up and down the county.

This year the Business Crime Coordinator’s main priority has been supporting neighbourhood teams with high-demand businesses on their local areas across the county that are causing many calls for service from Shoplifting incidents to ASB incidents.

They arrange to visit these stores with neighbourhood officers for the area and their store manager. At the visit a business crime reduction survey is completed on the premises looking at crime prevention/security solutions that will assist the stores in reducing crime and deterring/disrupting offenders away from their store.

They look to build a relationship with their crime prevention team to work in partnership going forward to reduce crime and disorder and produce a report of recommendations from the visit which is distributed to the neighbourhood teams, correct business employees and any other relevant parties. The aim of this is to reduce demand on our policing service and to support the businesses.

Case Study

Man jailed for burglaries in Blackpool

A man has been sentenced after stealing jewellery and other high value items from people’s homes.

Ferenc Horvath, 31, of Grosvenor Street in Blackpool, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to three residential burglaries, one attempted burglary and four counts of fraud.

The offences were committed in Blackpool, St Annes and Bispham.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Reid, of Blackpool Targeted Crime Team, said: “These residential burglaries were committed by Horvath climbing into people’s homes through upstairs insecure windows.

“He would ransack homes to steal jewellery and other high value items. Some of the jewellery was of high sentimental value to the victims, who now have to come to terms that they may never see their precious items again.

“I am grateful for the court in passing a custodial sentence in this case and hope this gives his victims some measure of comfort.”

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