200 arrests in burglary raids

Lancashire Police took part in the Blackpool phase of Operation Julius
Lancashire Police took part in the Blackpool phase of Operation Julius
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MORE than 200 suspected crooks were arrested by police during an operation to crack down on burglary in Blackpool.

Nearly 190 of those arrested were quizzed by detectives on suspicion of burglary, robbery and car crime during Operation Julius, which was launched at the start of the year following a surge in offences.

Figures show there was an increase of 76 burglaries in a dwelling in the resort in the last year compared to the previous year – 813 burglaries between April 2010 to March 2011 compared to 889 offences from April last year to March this year.

Meanwhile, Northern Division, which covers Wyre, saw a nine per cent decrease – equivalent to 55 offences – in burglaries since 2010.

Supt Bill McMahon, operations manager for Blackpool Police, said: “Julius was in response to a rise in burglaries, mainly around December.

“We will continue to work with the community to target offences of burglary –working together can prove really powerful.

“Over 10 years we have seen a reduction in burglaries of 63 per cent in Blackpool.

“While we will argue burglary offences are at low levels, we remain committed to preventing it in the first place, identifying offenders and where we can, bringing them to justice.”

High visibility patrols, raids, and vehicle check points were carried out across north and south of Blackpool and Fylde during the operation.

Officers used automatic number plate recognition technology to track criminals and issued letters designed to warn burglars against committing crime.

The Gazette joined the police on raids in Grange Park last month while check points were set up on Yeadon Way and Progress Way in Blackpool and at Windy Harbour in Singleton.

Supt McMahon added: “When I spoke to residents in Grange Park while we were executing warrants, people said how pleased they were to see the police acting on the information they had been passed and targeted offenders.

“That’s what the public wants and what they pay for.

“Operation Julius is just one tactic we carry out throughout the year. Our work doesn’t cease, it continues for 365 days.

“People look to the police to prevent burglaries but they are responsible themselves in keeping their doors and windows locked and secure.”