Crackdown hailed as police arrest 1,000 burglars in Hampshire

PRAISE Chief Constable Alex Marshall
PRAISE Chief Constable Alex Marshall

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A CRACKDOWN that has seen almost 1,000 burglars arrested in the last year has been hailed by Hampshire police’s top officer.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall commended officers for driving down the crime during Operation Nemesis at a time when government spending cuts mean officers are stretched to the limit.

The four per cent drop in house burglaries – from 5,201 to 4,995 – comes as figures show all crimes reported to Hampshire police have fallen for the fifth year running.

Mr Marshall said: ‘I was very concerned that burglary was up halfway through the year.

‘Anyone who is a victim of a burglary will never forget it, so I’m very pleased that by the end of the year burglary and all crime were down.

‘We caught more burglars and we have improved our offender management working with probation – we are getting better at managing criminals away from crime.

‘We have done lots of crime prevention through neighbourhoods teams, and talking to a lot of people through Twitter and Facebook.’

As reported in The News yesterday, 129,327 crimes were reported across Hampshire last year – down three per cent from 133,462 the previous year. The drop comes as the force battles to save £54m by 2015. Already 650 posts – about 200 officers and 450 staff – have been axed to help save cash.

Speaking about the cuts, Mr Marshall said he wanted his officers focusing on cutting crime, adding ‘let me worry about cutting the budget’.

Officers arrested 994 burglars in the six months from the launch of Operation Nemesis in October. In that time there was a drop of 253 burglaries compared to the previous six months.

Mr Marshall said officers had done a great job targeting known criminals.

‘Some of our active burglars we had caught in the original Operation Nemesis were back out of prison – many of them are now back in prison,’ he said.