Burglaries hit 12-year low in Northamptonshire as police crackdown cuts crime

Operation Crooked squad sees county break-ins fall by 34% with 250 arrests in first year

Friday, 24th April 2020, 11:02 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 11:03 am

Burglaries in Northamptonshire are at a 12-year-low after a 34 per cent drop in break-ins in the first year since the county's police launched Operation Crooked.

The fall from 2,770 to 1,809 means 1,000 fewer victims with the Crooked team making 250 arrests and landing a string of high-profile convictions.

It counts as a major success for Chief Constable Nick Adderley, who created the dedicated burglary team to honour his pledge to cut crime in the county after landing the top job in 2018.

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But Mr Adderley promised more funding for the Crooked team to push the numbers down even further.

He said: “Burglary has always been a top priority for me and I am delighted to learn that burglaries in Northamptonshire have reduced so much in only the first year our specialist burglary team, led by Detective Superintendent Paul Rymarz, has been operating.

“Now some people may think that because we’ve achieved a decent reduction, we’re now going to focus on something else. This is absolutely not the case.

“I am expanding the team and investing more and more resources into Operation Crooked in order to hammer down this reduction even further.

Six of the crooks sent down by Northants' Operation Crooked team

“My message to burglars really is very simple – we will not tolerate you in Northamptonshire and you will be caught.”

Burglaries in one area of Northampton have fallen by more than 50 per cent in the first year Crooked has been operating.

The team, which sits within CID, ensures that every burglary victim in Northamptonshire is guaranteed a visit from the police. That has been amended to a phone call since the Covid-19 lockdown kicked in.

The team also work to review and drive up the quality of investigations, manage and progress forensic hits, hunt down wanted people, organise police patrols in areas of concern and gather intelligence to prevent burglaries before they happen.

Peter Stearns, 36, was jailed for seven years for stealing two shot guns, an air rifle and a large quantity of high-value jewellery from a home in East Haddon.

Derry Crowshaw, 29, and 29-year-old Callum Gordon were handed over four years in jail between them for a series of Long Buckby burglaries. And 38-year-old Philip Dennis was found guilty at Northampton Crown Court and sentenced to four years in prison for stealing prescription drugs and a PlayStation.

And just last month, Daniel Crawley, 47, was sent down for stealing from a church, charity and a village football club in a spate of thefts in and around Northampton.

Northamptonshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “People told me that they wanted to see a focus on crimes that really affect their community like burglary and Northamptonshire Police have truly delivered.

"Not only has the Force cracked down hard on burglary, but they have also worked hard to explain to people how they can help to prevent crime and I am sure that all of these actions will have had a very positive effect on the confidence and safety of communities across Northamptonshire.”