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Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Swale district commander, Tony Henley, talks about efforts to tackle borough's crimewave

22 March 2014
by Lewis Dyson

Swale district commander Tony Henley and Sheppey’s Insp Tony Cannon spoke at a local engagement forum in Eastchurch last week.

Ch Insp Tony Henley

Ch Insp Tony Henley

Under Operation Aardvark, a dedicated task force has been set up to identify key criminals who are impacting on the borough’s crime levels and then disrupt their operations.

Ch Insp Henley acknowledged there had been a rise in the number of break-ins in recent months and said officers concentrate on those at people’s homes over ones at unoccupied buildings.

He said: “If your home is burgled it is probably one of the most distressing crimes that can happen to you, so we prioritise burglary dwellings.

“If your shed or garage is broken into, I would suggest it’s bloody annoying, but there’s not a personal risk of harm in most cases, so we have concentrated on the dwellings.”

To put the figures in context, Swale police respond to an average of two homes broken into every three days. He said police would do their best to reduce that number but people should not feel unsafe in their homes.

Burglars continue to target Sittingbourne homes

Burglars continue to target Sittingbourne homes

He added officers deal with about 23 crimes a day where property has been stolen or someone has suffered an injury across Swale.

Insp Cannon, who has been in his current role since July, said he believes in a more proactive approach to tackling crime.

He said: “We have been running [the operation] just over two months and even today [Tuesday] we have executed a number of warrants in Minster and arrested a number of individuals.

“It is proving to be a real success, so much so that the team has been extended until May, where we will review it again.”

Police are also working with the local housing authority, he said, to make it more difficult for repeat offenders to move back into homes on the Island.

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