Burglary police operation saw up to 30 officers swarming into crime areas

Pulling over uninsured drivers, searching people in the street and patrolling the roads of Redbridge made up part of a police operation to tackle burglary.

Operation Shadow was conducted in the borough with up to 30 officers and eight police vehicles ready to swarm into areas after a burglary was reported.

It was the fifth time such an operation had taken place, with each resulting in a dip in crime, according to police.

The day-long operation saw two arrests, more than 50 stops and searches and four raids.

Det Sgt Michael Dougall, who has worked for the police for more than 15 years, led the afternoon leg of last week’s crackdown.

Mr Dougall said: “We take any crime very seriously, and robbery and burglary is on the top of our agenda as it makes residents’ lives hell. For any offence reported, we go through it with a fine-toothed comb to link it to any other serious offences.”

Among the resources deployed was the police’s automatic number plate recognition vehicle, which can tell officers whether a vehicle is insured or has been stolen.

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The operation was conducted by the robbery and burglary squads who patrolled the streets looking for people behaving suspiciously.

Mr Dougall said: “The security systems are so sophisticated that criminals often need the keys to take the car, which increases burglary figures. They are looking for when people have gone to bed and left the keys near the letterbox or on display.”

He said that often burglaries happen within minutes when people have briefly left their homes.

Mr Dougall added: “It’s always that they just went to get a paper or a bottle of milk or pick up the kids from school. People always say they never think it’s going to happen to them.

“Criminals drive around looking for an opportunity like a window left open. We are doing all we can, but the public need to be mindful.”