WIGAN police have arrested dozens of suspected thieves, burglars and robbers in a pre-Christmas crackdown.
A total of 54 people were detained and £900 in cash seized from suspected criminals during a week-long campaign.
High-impact enforcement activity saw officers making 16 raids on properties of suspected criminals to search for stolen goods.
The clampdown was the force’s latest hard-hitting operation geared to targeting thieves and was launched to curb a potential pre-Christmas rise in theft-related crime.
Drives like this have resulted in a 20.6 per cent decrease in burglary, robbery and vehicle crime between April 1 and September 30, 2010 when compared to the same period in 2009, equating to 443 fewer victims of theft-related crimes.
Over the week officers also visited 69 known offenders to check they were complying with bail and curfew conditions and delivered special Christmas cards warning them to stay out of trouble to stay out of prison.
Police community support officers visited 121 homes to give crime prevention advice and distributed 82 timer switches for lights to residents in burglary hotspot areas. These can be used to turn lights on automatically when it gets dark to deter criminals.
Supt Robert Lomas of Wigan Police said: “Criminals and law-abiding citizens have become well aware of our ongoing commitment to bringing thieves to account for the misery they spread in our communities.
“This pre-Christmas operation has helped to take some of these people off our streets and sent a clear message to many others that to stay out of prison this Christmas they have to stay out of trouble.
“We will continue to target burglars, robbers and thieves into the New Year and residents can help by reporting suspicious activity to us either directly on 0161 872 5050 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. They can also help by locking doors and windows, using their burglar alarm and leaving a light on during the late afternoon and early evening to deter thieves. We want everyone to enjoy a safe, peaceful and crime-free Christmas and New Year.” Criminals who get in the way of this can expect a visit from us instead of Santa.”