Audio: Distraction burglars are targeted in new campaign

DISTRACTION burglars who prey on elderly and vulnerable people are being targeted in a new campaign. Herts Police detectives are calling on neighbours to make a stand and look out for dodgy goings on in their area in a bid to stamp out these callous crim

DISTRACTION burglars who prey on elderly and vulnerable people are being targeted in a new campaign.

Herts Police detectives are calling on neighbours to make a stand and look out for dodgy goings on in their area in a bid to stamp out these callous crimes.

Operation Manhunt was launched by a dedicated police team on Friday.

They are asking neighbours to display door stickers and call police if they see anybody acting suspiciously during daylight hours, or spot an unfamiliar car in their street.


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Detective chief inspector Paul Williamson said: "It's all about looking after the elderly and vulnerable in our communities.

"We are asking people to display these stickers in their windows to act as a warning to offenders.

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"But we hope they will have a dual message for residents to report any behaviour which they believe is suspicious or simply out of the ordinary."

One call reporting suspicious behaviour to police resulted in a combined jail term of nine years for two career criminals.

An alert member of the public spotted two men acting oddly close to his home and dialled 999.

Within minutes police flooded the area and with back up from a dog unit and the force's helicopter they pinpointed both men.

One was carrying a large quantity of cash he had stolen from a 72-year-old's flat minutes earlier.

The pair had conned their way in claiming they were from the water board.

DCI Paul Williamson said: "From this call we were able to dispatch officers to the scene and almost catch the two men in the act.

"We rely on immediate information and this is the focus for the new initiative."

The resident received a constabulary award for his actions that day.

If you would like a sticker, contact your local safer neighbourhood team. Contact details can be found at www.herts.police.uk

Distraction burglaries in Comet country:

Stevenage:

2008/09 - 6

2007/08 - 16

% change -62.50

Hitchin:

2008/09 - 9

2007/08 - 20

% change -55.00

Letchworth GC:

2008/09 - 7

2007/08 - 10

% change -30.00

Baldock:

2008/09 - 4

2007/08 - 9

% change -55.60

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