Derby police crackdown on street robbers
Posted: 28/01/2007 17:05:44
A major operation has been launched by officers in Derby to tackle street robbery and theft across the city.
Operation Everest has been launched this week in a bid to target hot spot areas and offenders.
An incident room has been set up at St Mary's Wharf Police Station with a team of dedicated detectives who are proactively investigating every incident of street robbery and theft.
Since January 1st 2007 there have been 62 offences of robbery in the city compared to 34 during the same period the previous year (Jan 1st to Jan 24th 06).
Officers will be conducting both high visibility and covert patrols in areas already identified as being hot spots.
As well as enforcement action police will be working with schools in the city to raise awareness of personal safety and also about the seriousness of robbery as an offence.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Stokes, who's leading the operation, said: "My main message is that Derby is still a safe place to work in and visit and is among the safest cities in the East Midlands.
"But recently we have seen a rise in the number of offences of robbery and theft on the streets.
"That is something we are not prepared to tolerate and we will be clamping down hard on those involved.
"We will identify offenders and, working with the Crown Prosecution Service, bring them before the courts."
DCI Stokes said there were a number of offender types involved in the offences, which target mobile phones, MP3 players, other gadgets and cash.
He said: "We have a lot of offences carried out by school age children on other school age children and what we are trying to get across to them is that it is a serious offence.
"We also have priority persistent offenders. Many of these may be funding a drug habit and as a result carry out quick fire offences to feed that habit.
"Then we have groups of young people affiliated to certain areas who target each other in robberies for some sort of kudos."
Anyone with information about street crime in Derby is asked to contact Derbyshire police on 0845 123 33 33 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Personal Safety Advice
Anyone who is unfortunate to be the target of one of these offences should contact the police immediately, so officers can be deployed to make area searches, in an attempt to apprehend the offenders and make sure other offences aren't committed.
To reduce the risk of being a victim in the first place we would advise people to carry small amounts of cash, only carry credit cards if you intend to use them, keep mobile phones out of sight and don't wear MP3 players whilst out walking around the city centre.
When travelling in or out of the city centre, particularly at night, use buses or taxi's and if possible avoid walking alone. Also please report groups of youths acting suspiciously and remain alert to your surroundings.
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