Hertfordshire police to appear on BBC’s Crimewatch after distraction burglary crackdown in Letchworth and Baldock
- Credit: Archant
Hertfordshire police will feature on BBC’s Crimewatch programme tonight (Wednesday) after a successful operation to tackle distraction burglaries – including a case where Letchworth GC and Baldock residents were targeted.
Known as Operation Manhunt, it includes specialist officers from Hertfordshire’s Constabulary who investigate distraction burglary, large scale rogue trading fraud offences and burglaries where the victim is aged 70 or over.
The show features detective inspector Kay Lancaster who highlights the work of the team’s specialist techniques employed to catch criminals and the support given to victims by the older person liaison officer, a role which is unique to Hertfordshire.
It also features a case of a prolific criminal who was convicted of more than 40 crimes, after he systematically targeted elderly residents in Baldock and Letchworth.
Chief constable Andy Bliss said: “The Operation Manhunt team is highly specialised in investigating criminals who deliberately target older people in our community. They provide exemplary victim care, using their expertise in supporting older victims who are often left extremely traumatised by these crimes.
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“Taking a specialist approach to catching those responsible and bringing them to justice has also paid dividends in reducing this type of crime, meaning fewer victims and making Hertfordshire virtually a no-go area for those who commit these particularly nasty offences.
“I am very proud to see their great work highlighted on Crimewatch.”
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The team has reduced distraction burglary by 58% since April last year, compared to the previous year. 70% of crimes committed during this time have resulted in an arrest and/or conviction.
Police and crime commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd said: “There is nothing more despicable than those criminals who target and abuse the most vulnerable in our society.
“I place great emphasis on putting the victim at the heart of the criminal justice system here in Hertfordshire and Operation Manhunt is at the forefront of the Force’s work in protecting the vulnerable. Their work is recognised among police forces nationally and I am delighted that Crimewatch have chosen to feature the team.”
The programme will air tonight on BBC1 at 9pm.