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Police take to streets in Trowbridge car crime crackdown
Police took to the streets of Trowbridge last night as part of their ongoing campaign to reduce car crime in the town.
Operation Chariot, which targets break-ins, damage and theft of vehicles, has seen regular teams of uniformed and plain-clothed patrolling the town carrying out stop checks while a bait car has also been used.
The vehicle has been placed in parts of town where police know crimes have been taking place with it having everyday items such as smartphones, handbags and coats on show.
Once the vehicle is broken into the operation’s patrols receive a text alerting them and officers would then head to the area and carry out stop checks looking for the items on suspects.
“The car is a very good tool, we present a locked car with something enticing and we have small cameras inside it which are impossible to find with the naked eye,” said Sergeant Neil Duffin, “Vehicle crime in Trowbridge is a priority, it is experiencing more issues than anywhere else in Wiltshire at the minute but obviously it is nothing in comparison to metropolitan areas.”
Sgt Duffin said that some items that are placed in the car, such as sat navs, can be tracked using GPS while the police have to ensure they comply with surveillance and entrapment laws when setting up a sting.
The bait car wasn’t triggered during last night’s operation and since launching five weeks ago car crime in Trowbridge has reduced by 16.4 per cent.
During last night’s foot patrols in Trowbridge, no car crimes were reported but plain clothes officers did stop check a group of four men loitering near a cash machine in Fore Street with no further action taken.
PC Helen Daveridge, who oversaw last night’s operation, said: “Some people would say if you don’t see us turnover of a lot of people that the night hasn’t been a success but I think it shows we are acting as a deterrent and that how effective the earlier part of the operation must have been.”
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