Operation Defender: Lancashire Police launch new campaign to crack down on burglary

Lancashire Constabulary has launched a new force wide campaign to crack down on residential burglary, funded by Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Recorded burglaries across the county have dropped by nearly half since January 2019; however nationally and in Lancashire, there is typically a rise in burglaries as the nights get darker.

In response, Op Defender, launched on Monday September 26, aims to locate and arrest offenders, take positive action to reduce residential burglary through crime prevention advice, and safeguard and support victims of crime.

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Forcewide Burglary Lead, Chief Inspector Chris Abbott, said: “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.

Lancashire Police campaign 'Op Defender' has been launched to crackdown on burglary

“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.

"Op Defender will equip officers with targeted and proactive patrol plans and seek to prevent crime from happening in the first place so we can effectively safeguard our residents.

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“The public may receive Op Defender calling cards, and crime prevention leaflets through their doors over the coming weeks which will highlight ways they can work with us to secure their home. The campaign also explains how to report suspicious activity, upload any doorbell footage, or CCTV to our investigation portal to help us arrest those responsible.

“Whilst receiving communication about burglary through the letterbox may alarm some people, this is purely crime prevention advice and I'd reassure the public that we want to work with them to keep them safe and feeling confident that they have secured their home and valuables.

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"As well as prevention, this campaign is about ensuring the best possible response for burglary victims and continuing to ensure our victims feel and are supported throughout the investigation."

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Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, added: "Cracking down on burglary and robbery and ensuring people feel safe in their homes is a priority in my Fighting Crime Plan. With the winter months drawing closer, I'm funding Operation Defender to support the Constabulary's efforts to proactively target prolific offenders and ensure they feel the full force of the law, have their day in court and are put behind bars.

"Whilst strengthening our response to residential burglary and arresting those who selfishly ruin lives by committing these crimes, it's also right that we work with our communities to help residents better protect themselves and prevent giving criminals opportunity to take advantage. I also commission Lancashire Victim Services to ensure if people do fall victim to burglary, they receive specialist support.

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"As I lead the fight against crime across Lancashire and we put more officers on our streets, I am determined that we make the county as hostile a place as possible for those looking to commit crime."

Op Defender will also see new property marking kits from SelectaDNA, which use a unique DNA code to mark property, so that in the event it is stolen, police can reunite it with its owner.

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Once registered, the SelectaDNA signs can be displayed, potentially reducing the risk of being burgled by up to 83%.

For more information on how to keep yourself and your property safe, please visit: www.lancashire.police.uk/burglary