POLICE in Wigan arrested 54 burglars, robbers and thieves last week in the latest purge on crime.
Officers also seized more than £4,000 in cash after raids were carried out on properties of suspected criminals to search for stolen goods.
The money was confiscated under the Proceeds Of Crime Act legislation, which allows police to seize cash in excess of £1,000 that they believe has been made from, or will be used to fund, criminal activity.
Officers also joined forces with trading standards and environmental health officers to make spot checks on second hand shops to ensure they were not handling stolen goods, and were complying with regulations relating to keeping full records of transactions.
Similar crackdowns over the last year have reduced burglary, robbery and vehicle crime by 18 per cent in the 12 months to the end of February this year compared to the previous 12 months. This equates to 791 fewer people falling victim to theft crimes.
Officers have also been giving advice to people visiting DIY stores and supermarkets on how they can use burglar alarms, door and window locks and security lighting to decrease the chances of their homes being targeted by thieves.
The Wigan Evening Post recently caught up with Wigan town centre PCSOs Janet Edisbury and Michelle Ashurst as they visited Cash Generator on Standishgate to give advice on preventing thefts and robberies.
The visits have been made under the umbrella of Operation Reckoning which tackles serious acquisitive crimes, Tips include installing CCTV, the arrangement of shelves so staff can watch them and the avoidance of covering display windows with company logos which obscure vision.
Supt Stuart Ellison of Wigan Police said: “Over the last year we have taken the fight to criminals by targeting them in their homes, on the street and in their communities. These latest crime figures underline the success of these tactics, and I can assure both law-abiding citizens and criminals that there will be no let up in this level of enforcement activity over the coming year.
“People can help us to put criminals out of business by ensuring that they fit quality burglar alarms, door and window locks and security lighting in their homes.
“They can also help by refusing to buy goods that they believe may have been stolen, and by reporting suspicious activity either directly to us on 0161 872 5050 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”