Written Warning Issued To Shropshire’s Serial Burglars
Prolific criminals have this week received letters from senior officers advising they are being closely watched and to think twice before re-offending.
The personalised letters, some of which have been hand-delivered, give notice that their movements are being monitored and they face arrest if suspected of being involved in further crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards, head of Shropshire CID, said: "Around 50 letters have been distributed to individuals who have previously committed burglaries in the county.
"We are now giving due warning that they have been identified as people most likely to cause harm to the community".
He said the move was part of West Mercia Police's new Citadel initiative aimed at reducing burglaries while increasing detections. The number of burglars charged in Shropshire so far this year is already more than double last year's figure.
Earlier this week, officers carried out search warrants in Shrewsbury, Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Ludlow at the homes of people suspected of being involved in burglary related crime.
Each letter begins by saying West Mercia Police "has reason to suspect you may be involved in criminal activity in the Shropshire area".
It goes on to say: "Take note, we will be co-ordinating and actively collecting information about criminal or anti-social activity and if you are involved or suspected of being involved, police officers will be directed to focus their activities on you as a priority.
"If you are suspected of being involved in criminal activity, we will use all lawful means to disrupt your behaviour, including arrest and the execution of search warrants whenever and wherever possible.
"If you are subject to bail conditions, or a curfew, we will be checking to make sure you comply with them. If you breach these, you will be arrested."
But the letters also go on to offer support. "We are offering you the opportunity to work with us and our partners, who include the Probation Service, Health Service and Community Substance Misuse Teams.
"Our aim is to ensure we focus on those who present the highest risk and by working with us and our partners, we can help you to help yourself."
Recipients wishing to discuss the implications of the letter, can contact the Integrated Offender Management Unit at Shrewsbury Police Station.