‘Wanted’ pictures to be used in new burglary campaign

Malicious letters detailing allegations against man being sent to homes in Portsmouth

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MUGSHOTS of repeat offenders are to be put out by police in a crackdown on burglaries.

Officers are to publish ‘wanted’ pictures of people previously convicted of crimes in a bid bring more suspects to justice.

The mugshots will be given to the media and put on social networking sites in cases where police believe they know who the person responsible for a crime is.

This is in addition to existing regular appeals and CCTV snapshots that are put out by police.

The move is part of the three-month Operation Nemesis which was launched today by Hampshire Constabulary with the aim of cracking 15 per cent of all serious ‘acquisitive crime’ in the area – including robbery and theft from vehicles.

The crackdown comes after figures revealed 1,764 burglaries were reported in Portsmouth and the Central policing areas, which covers Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Winchester, last year – almost five a day.

Burglaries fell year-one-year. But police say 263 more burglaries have been reported across the force this year than during the same period in 2010.

So far this year, 2,678 burglaries have been reported. Of these, 601 (22.4 per cent) have been solved.

Detective Superintendent Callan Cessford is heading up Operation Nemesis.

He said: ‘Burglary has a damaging impact on the victims, not just in the immediate wake of the incident but for months and years afterwards.

‘It’s a terrible crime which leaves the victims feeling unsafe in the place where they are supposed to feel the most secure.

‘Operation Nemesis will focus on burglary with the aim of cracking down on these types of incidents and bringing the offenders to justice.’

The launch comes two years after the operation was first carried out, bringing officers and staff together to tackle burglars.

Police made 1,575 arrests in connection with burglaries during the period – an increase of 23 per cent on the same period in 2008.

Figures showed detections had risen from 17 per cent prior to the campaign to 21.6 per cent after.

As well as publishing images of ‘wanted’ offenders, police will carry out overt and undercover operations to crack down on burglars.

Officers from Safer Neighbourhood teams will be offering burglary prevention advice to residents as well as advice on securing vehicles and personal safety. Covert and visible burglary operations will also be taking place throughout the two counties, and the results publicised.