Lowestoft police success in bid to tackle criminal activity

A THREE-month police crackdown that targeted prolific offenders has been declared a success by detectives.

In January, Lowestoft police launched Operation Apache, which saw officers following a small group of persistent criminals responsible for a large number of burglaries, robberies and drug-related crime.

This week, Det Sgt Karl Storey, who led the operation in the eastern division – covering Lowestoft, Leiston and Woodbridge – said it had been successful, with eight arrests made and 10 charges arising.

'These included Tony Kirk (arrested twice), Brendon Cooper, who was charged with possession of cannabis, and a teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was convicted of burglary while still 17,' he said.

Across Suffolk, 28 arrests were made as a result of Operation Apache between January and March.

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These resulted in 58 charges involving a number of alleged offences and one 'community resolution'. Another five offences were reported for consideration, and offenders remain on bail for a further 12 alleged offences.

In total, 134 alleged offences were recorded – 26 thefts, 22 thefts from motor vehicles, 14 domestic burglaries, 12 criminal damage incidents, 10 other burglaries and six offences of 'going equipped' to commit crime.

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Det Sgt Storey added: 'We also carried out more than 100 home visits to people in Lowestoft and Leiston and these will continue to be carried out by members of the territorial support team.'

As well as seeking to cut crime in the short term, Operation Apache also had longer-term aims.

Many of the offenders targeted were committing crime to fund a drugs habit. Therefore, once contact was made, they were given the opportunity to speak to a Drugs and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) worker to allow them to seek the support they neeed to tackle their addiction.

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