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Burglary campaign celebrates huge success one year since official launch

News   •   Mar 19, 2019 10:45 GMT

An operation aimed to tackle burglaries across Merseyside has been hailed “a huge success” since its launch last year.

‘Operation Castle’ was created in response to community concerns around burglary. Since March, the Force has seen a 24% reduction in offences, an increase in intelligence resulting in over 1300 people being arrested for burglary and convicted offenders receiving sentences totalling over 137 years.

The primary focus of the Operation Castle team, which is made up of officers and staff from different departments, is to reduce the number of burglary offences, raise community confidence and encourage reporting, whilst supporting existing local policing officers.

Here are just a few of our successes:

Dale Done, 28, of Quarryside Drive, Northwood, Kirkby was sentenced to 10 and a half years for committing two burglaries on 17th May last year, in Woolton and Aigburth. He admitted two charges of burglary and two of assault causing actual bodily harm and possession of a prohibited weapons (pepper spray).

Two other men, Dale Kelly, 24, and Lewis Callaghan, 21, were also jailed for a total of 10 years and eight months for two burglaries committed on 5th June last year. They were spotted by a member of the public acting suspiciously at an address in Freshfield. They were detained by officers with a number of stolen items including cufflinks, watches, a camera and Xbox games, all of which were returned to their owners.

In January this year, Alan Ronald Bell, 47, of no fixed address received a 2 and a half year prison sentence after he broke into an address on Spekeland Road, Liverpool the previous month whilst the victims were on holiday. Their neighbour alerted police after hearing noises and upon officer arrival, Bell was found hiding under the bed along with jewellery, laptops, iPads and Xboxes he had intended on stealing. He was arrested at the scene and taken to court where he pleaded guilty for burglary.

Most recently, Carlos Graham, 40, from Carter pleaded guilty to a number of burglary offences and was sentenced on 12th March to four years and 6 months behind bars. The burglaries took place last year in the Toxteth and Aigburth areas, and resulted in electrical goods, jewellery and other items being stolen, including a retro Gameboy and white gold bracelet, both of significant sentimental value.

Head of Local Policing Chief Superintendent Matt Boyle said: “Over a year ago, the public came to us, voicing their concerns about burglary and how being a victim can cause both emotional upset and financial strain.

“With that in mind, we invested in the #OpCastle team who are there to support frontline officers and local policing teams in their fight against crime, in particular residential burglaries. One year on, we’ve seen a huge improvement in not only community confidence but also the number of offences successfully investigated and offenders brought to justice.

“Your home is your castle and we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and secure wherever they live or work.

“We’ll actively continue with the operation and hope to see more and more of these successes. Anyone that may have information on burglary is asked to contact our dedicated hotline on 0151 777 7926 or email operation.castle@merseyside.pnn.police.uk.

“You can also pass information to the social media desk @MerPolCC, call 101 or you can call or the independent charity @CrimestoppersUK anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”