Success of theft crusade

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LOCAL police made an April Fool out of criminals during a campaign to clamp down on theft, results show.

The operation focused on all aspects of stealing throughout April and has led to a 17 per cent reduction in burglary, robbery, vehicle crime and theft when compared to the same period last year.

The April Fool campaign involved activity across Greater Manchester including Wigan and saw a total of 982 arrests, visits to 229 scrap yards and 338 second hand shops and 3,433 disruption visits.

There have also been more than 62,000 hits to the flickr wanted website, which contains a gallery of pictures of wanted offenders from across the force.

The site also contains details of how members of the public can submit any information they may have about any of the people that feature on the site, or they know are involved in crime.

More than 9,000 members of the public were also given face-to-face support and advice on what steps they can take to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of stealing.

Chief Supt Tim Forber, who was responsible for the operation, said; “The objective of the operation was simple – to reduce levels of stealing across Greater Manchester and bring as many offenders as possible to justice.

“Officers from all divisions, supported by officers from specialist departments, have worked extremely hard rounding up wanted offenders, providing crime prevention advice and disrupting markets for stolen goods.”

People can continue to spring clean their area by viewing pictures of wanted criminals at www.flickr.com/photos/springclean