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Inspector Simon Riley's Blog: February 2021

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Firstly, please accept my apology for the lateness in posting February's Blog!! A period of Annual leave tacked onto the end of the shortest month of the year has momentarily thrown my timings out!!

Firstly an update on my local policing priorities for this quarter; These priorities continue to be the focus of my Neighbourhood and Proactive teams.

Operation LARKSPUR

Supported by Operation Reacher, County Knife Crime team and additional patrols funded by Knife Crime Surge Fund (Operation SCORPION)

Arrest of a local youth in possession of a large Zombie-style knife - he is now on conditional bail, making it easier for us to apply some additional controls on his activity.

Several vehicles taken from uninsured drivers

Lots of good intelligence gathered

6 x Misuse of Drugs Act Warrants executed. Over 100 Cannabis plants recovered with a rough street value of £100,000 and 4 arrests made. We are also working with housing partners around tenancy agreements of offenders' families

Operation HADAR

Supported by Operation Reacher, County Knife Crime team and additional patrols funded by Knife Crime Surge Fund (Operation SCORPION)

3 x Misuse of Drugs Act Warrants and several premises searched following arrests of a number of key nominals with significant seizures of Class A drugs made, believed somewhere in the region of £20 - £50,000.

Lots of good intelligence gathered to assist with the operation as it continues

We are also working with housing partners around tenancy agreements of offenders' families

Burglary of Peoples' Homes

We continue to see good reductions in burglary across the board, with a total reduction of 27.6% (-148 offences) for the year to date in all burglaries (April 2020 to present). Residential burglaries have fallen by 21.2% (-84 offences) in this period, with business and community burglaries reducing by 45.5% (-64 offences) in the same period.

Motor Vehicle Crime

Catalytic Converter Thefts

We have begun to see a rise in the theft of catalytic converters from people's vehicles, not just on the borough, but across the force. There is now a significant piece of work ongoing, to get to the heart of this issue and target those responsible. Locally, my teams are looking at some engagement around prevention of these offences and I would urge everyone to be vigilant and report all suspicious activity around parked and unattended vehicles. Criminals targeting vehicles for their catalytic converters do so because of the precious metals contained within the units, which have a significant resale value and they are expert at removing the units from the vehicles very quickly. If you suspect you are witnessing a crime of this type happening, please dial 999.

Trowell Services Arrests

On 26th February 4 men from Leeds were arrested after the theft of six pallets of household electrical goods from a lorry parked at Trowell Services. Having tried to make good their escape, they then failed to stop for colleagues from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire before their escapade was brought to an end in South Yorkshire. All 4 have been charged with theft and one of them remanded to court. This is a really good result for us, as the services at Trowell are often targeted by organised gangs of thieves who target the parked lorries whilst the drivers are asleep and often get away with very high value hauls. Well done to all involved in getting this little gang arrested and then charged and before the court.


As we begin to move towards the government's roadmap for the lifting of the lockdown restrictions, can I please remind people to continue to follow all of the guidance issued and continue to follow the lockdown laws around meeting others, and the advice on travel, social distancing and mask wearing. There is no doubt we are moving in the right direction and the vaccination programme is playing a huge part in this. As the restrictions start to lift from March 8th, please don't be tempted to 'go too early!!' It's vital that we all continue to play our part in getting life back to normal as quickly as possible across all of our communities and to do that we simply must follow the rules. My officers will still be following the 4 E's of Engage - Explain - Encourage - Enforce and will only enforce as a last resort or where it is clear that any breach of the law is deliberate and/or reckless. We are nearly there folks - please, let’s all pull together for the finishing straight.

Advice guide - Protecting your vehicle

Crime prevention advice to help avoid you becoming a victim of vehicle crime.