Police war on burglars and car thieves in Sheffield

Police on duty in Sheffield try to establish if a resident is at home.
Police on duty in Sheffield try to establish if a resident is at home.

Police are making 10 arrests a day in a crackdown on burglary and car crimes in Sheffield.

Operation K2 was launched on October 1 and 105 arrests have been made so far – with daily raids planned.

Officers have also seized £1.3 million worth of drugs, cars, suspected stolen property and cash.

Police chiefs mounted the operation to try to prevent an annual increase in crime in the city over the autumn months.

Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest, who is overseeing the operation, said she hoped it would deter criminals from striking in the city.

“Operation K2 is an autumn crime initiative targeting burglaries and vehicle crime because every year during the autumn months we get a spike in offences,” she added.

“It coincides with Sheffield’s population increasing by 50,000 when the students return, meaning more potential victims of crime.

“We are determined this year to do all we can to prevent that annual spike through a series of tactics.”

She said there would an ‘aggressive use’ of the police ‘sting vehicle,’ which will be parked across the city with valuables left on display in a bid to tempt thieves prowling the streets.

Chf Insp Forrest said there will also be a ‘ring of steel’ around Sheffield with officers using automatic number plate recognition cameras looking for known criminals moving around the city or travelling to Sheffield to commit offences.

Officers will also be targeting hotspot areas and working with the city’s Probation Service to carry out ‘vigorous offender management’ when criminals are released from prison at the end of their sentences.

Chf Insp Forrest said the crime crackdown would be ‘relentless’ until the new year, when its success will be evaluated.

“Those being released from prison need to know that they will be closely monitored,” she said.

“The aim is for criminals to have a miserable winter – they won’t know where we are or what we are doing but this is a relentless campaign.”

Officers have been walking around city suburbs where offences have been committed looking for homes left unsecured – even walking in the properties to warn householders a burglar could have got in.

They are also giving crime prevention advice to residents in the hope of making it more difficult for burglars to get into their homes.

Officers in plain clothes are also patrolling the city centre and stopping people they spot with valuables, including, phones, wallets and purses, at risk of being stolen.

Recent figures revealed there was a two per cent increase in burglaries and car crime in South Yorkshire between April and August – with 2,923 burglaries and 5,054 vehicle crimes reported.