Burglaries fell by 90 per cent in Northampton since gang of 13 criminals were arrested

Thirteen people arrested as part of a police operation last summer have been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison at Northampton Crown Court. NNL-140728-172127001
Thirteen people arrested as part of a police operation last summer have been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison at Northampton Crown Court. NNL-140728-172127001

The burglary rate in the south of Northampton has gone down by 90 per cent since a gang of 13 criminals were arrested, a detective for Northamptonshire Police said.

Nine men, two women and two teenagers, all from Northampton, were arrested after 100 police officers executed 13 search warrants targeting people suspected of committing burglaries in the East and West Hunsbury, Briar Hill, Wootton and Far Cotton areas of the town.

A quantity of drugs and various items of property were seized after the raids that were carried out on July 3 last year.

The group of 13 people were sentenced to a combined total of more than 19 years in prison after they admitted being involved in 100 burglaries.

Detective Sergeant Richard Barnett said analysis of the burglary rate in the south-west of the town had since showed a 90 per cent drop between July 2013 and November 2013, compared to September 2012 to July 2013.

Mr Barnett said: “We are still noticing a reduction in burglaries in the south-west of the town.

“A lot of the burglaries had a big impact on victims as some of the property stolen had a high sentimental value, including old war medals and family photographs.

“Some of the victims have sold their houses as they don’t feel safe anymore.”

Mr Barnett said the majority of the incidents had taken place during the daytime when the burglars broke in through the rear entrance of properties.

He said the burglars had gone out in small gangs with the intention of breaking into a house and were armed with hammers.

The majority of the items the burglars stole were high value electrical items, including iPads, iPhones and cameras.

Most of the criminals were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on Monday and two of the defendants were handed sentences of three years.

Mr Barnett said: “We were pleased with the case we presented that meant the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burglary.

“The arrest and sentences send out the message that we will not tolerate anyone who commits burglary.”

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Lyall, who led the operation, said he was pleased that significant sentences had been handed out and said officers would use all the powers they could to track repeat burglars.

He said: “These people were responsible for more than 100 burglaries in Northampton and it’s good to see some significant sentences handed down in court.

“These people didn’t give a second thought to the impact their actions would have on the victims, they were only interested in getting away with as much as possible.

“We are determined to pursue those people who are committing burglaries in Northamptonshire and will use every power available to us to thoroughly investigate crimes in order to take offenders to court.”

The 100 burglaries the 13 defendants were linked to all took place in the south-west of Northampton between October 2012 and April 2013.

The oldest member of the gang was 43-year-old Jeffrey George, while the youngest was just 15 years of age.

At Northampton Crown Court on Monday, Northamptonshire Police were given permission to pursue a proceeds of crime application in relation to the cases involving the 13 defendants.