Wirral officers join in national crackdown on personal robbery

Officers in Wirral are taking part in a national operation aiming to crackdown on personal robbery.

As part of an intensified effort, officers will be targeting operational activity in known hotspot areas and arresting those intent on committing crime.

Operation Calibre launched today, Monday 6 November and will continue until Sunday 12 November 2023. The initiative will see forces across the country focus on education, engagement, prevention, and enforcement.

Robbery is an aggravated form of theft where the offender uses force or fear to steal from another.

The ONS annual report (for the year ending June 2023) recently highlighted that robbery has decreased by 8.8% in Merseyside, compared to a 10 per cent increase nationally.

The week-long operation will disrupt and target habitual offenders to take them off the street. Land searches will take place to locate any weapons which could be used in the commission of robbery offences, knife arches will be set up to detect concealed weapons and high visibility patrols will act as a constant deterrent to offenders.

Officers will also be deployed to ‘hotspot’ areas to target known offenders and protect those most vulnerable to violence and exploitation. The tactic involves operating intensive, high-visibility foot patrols for short periods of time within specific areas where there is a risk of serious violence.

The use of hotspot policing has resulted in a 30% reduction in knife enabled serious violence across the 14 hotspot areas in Merseyside.

The week of action will also focus on prevention, including engagement with charities, schools, local businesses, and many other partners.

Mobile police stations and bike marking events are due to take place across Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and Knowsley. Police cadets will be out and about handing out personal robbery safety advice to shoppers.

A land search taking place to locate any weapons which could be used in the commission of robbery offences

Inspector Laura Leach, Deputy Lead for Serious Violence and Knife Crime said, “Being a victim of robbery is a frightening experience and can have a long-lasting impact. We know criminals target some of the most vulnerable in our communities, such as children or the elderly.

“Police officers across Merseyside are working day and night to protect communities. Our message to those who commit a robbery and inflict violence is clear: we will not tolerate this. You will face significant consequences and we will catch you.

“Our recent investment of metal detecting wands will support us in finding weapons, which are often used during robberies. If you are found to be carrying a knife or any other weapon, you will be arrested and prosecuted.

“We continue to undertake preventative work with partners to deliver long-lasting change, including talks with schools to show young people the impact of robbery on both the victim and offender.

“With more people out and about leading up to festive period, it is more important than ever that people remain vigilant. If you do become a victim of a robbery, please report it to us straight away by calling 999 in an emergency or 101.”

Personal Robbery Safety Advice

Keep yourself safe. You can reduce your risk of being a target of robbery if you:

  • Look confident, move with purpose, and remain aware of your surroundings
  • Plan your route and think about what to take with you, especially if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before
  • Keep to busy, well-lit streets, walkways and paths which are more likely to be covered by CCTV
  • Use licensed taxis or minicabs booked by phone or on an app
  • Keep your mobile phone and valuables out of sight. If you’re using your phone, it’s more likely to be snatched from your hand as you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, so look around you
  • Remember not to leave your mobile phone, any other device, wallet, or purse on the table of an outdoor café, pub, or restaurant. The same applies for any jewellery you might be wearing – keep it covered when walking down the street
  • Own a bike? Protect it. Register your bike on BikeRegister and you could be reunited with it, in the event of it being stolen. Visit www.bikeregister.com/join
  • Register your phone on www.immobilise.com  and keep a note of your IMEI number by dialling *#06# – if it’s stolen, the police may be able to recover it
  • If you’re threatened with violence, don’t risk your personal safety – property can be replaced, you can’t
  • Report it straight away. If a crime is in progress call 999

Lead image: An officer with a metal detecting wand, used to detect knives, etc

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