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2nd Jul, 2022

OP FOCUS: Shed and garage burglaries down by two thirds in Malvern after force crackdown

Malvern Editorial 9th Jul, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

BURGLARY to people’s property in Malvern including sheds and garages has been dramatically reduced thanks to a police crackdown.

The force had been put on alert by a rise in the number of incidents which at its peak saw a building targeted once a day on average.

Analysis revealed there had been 32 offences in May alone, predominantly occurring in Malvern as well as several in Upton-upon-Severn with the majority happening overnight.

In response, West Mercia Police has dedicated extra resources to address the emerging threat during the last three weeks in what has been referred to as Operation Focus.

As a result burglary to non-dwellings has been successfully reduced by more than two thirds.

Teams dedicated to the drive included the Dog Section, Operations Policing Unit, Specials Constabulary and 24/7 patrol officers along with Proactive CID who executed a search warrant at a home in Pound Bank last week following intelligence about possible stolen goods stashed at the property.

But the core objective of Focus has been to increase police presence in certain areas of Malvern at identified times as well as keeping a close eye on individuals with a known history for burglary and theft.

Marked police cars have been out providing visual reassurance and confidence to the public while unmarked vehicles have been on the roads to increase the chances of arresting suspects.

One person monitored closely was arrested during the period and overall the increased police presence has had the desired effect with just 11 incidents reported in June.

Insp Steph Brighton of Malvern Safer Neighbourhoods Team, who is leading Operation Focus, said: “People who have been involved in burglary in the past have felt theĀ  pressure from police. They have been stopped, spoken to and if appropriate searched.

“The whole operation has been intelligence led, focusing police resources to specific areas to tackle burglary and theft. As a result of the police activity, these offences have dropped.”

Insp Brighton reassured residents the operation was still ongoing but urged people to be vigilant and take their own measures in preventing incidents.

She said: “I’d like to remind the public to make sure they secure their garages and sheds like they would their own house, especially during the summer months when we tend to use them more. Unfortunately there are opportunist thieves out there.”

She advised residents to join their Neighbourhood Watch scheme and report any suspicious activity to Safer Neighbourhood Teams on 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Insp Brighton also encouraged people to follow @MalvernCops on Twitter for daily crime updates in Malvern as well as the latest on crime prevention campaigns.

Now read about when the Observer joined police during Operation Focus on patrol and for the execution of a warrant.

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