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Police launch rogues gallery in crime crackdown
A NEW rogues gallery featuring wanted criminals in Worcestershire can now be viewed as part of a crackdown on crime.
West Mercia Police launched the wanted page yesterday alongside a new initiative aimed at driving down the number of burglaries in the force area.
So far two men are pictured in the gallery, David Benyon, who is wanted in connection with a ram raid in Broadway in 2009 for which he was convicted in his absence, and Urney O’Reilly, who is wanted on warrant for prison recall, but more are expected to appear in due course.
Criminals that appear on the page will be wanted mainly for burglary but it may feature released prisoners who have breached terms of their licence and people linked with a crime through DNA.
The new police initiative, launched alongside the wanted page, known as Citadel, will aim to bring down the number of burglaries in the county, which is something the force says is a high priority for them.
New tactics will include co-ordinated use of technology, high-visibility patrols in burglary hotspots and an advice campaign.
The methods have already been used in some areas and have led to the arrest of more than 600 people in the West Mercia area since April.
In south Worcestershire between April 1 and September 9 there were 324 burglaries, seven per cent more than expected based on previous figures.
There were 135 arrests, 99 of them in the past three months, with 17 people convicted. Burglaries across the county have fallen in recent years, with figures from 2011/12 down to 1,428 on the previous year, when there were 1,663.
But in the force area burglaries are up 11 per cent on what was predicted, with 1,418 taking place during the same six months.
West Mercia Police’s new assistant chief constable Gareth Morgan said: “There is a lot homeowners and businesses can do to make their properties more secure.”
The police are asking anyone who knows about someone pictured on the wanted page to contact them on 101 or through Crimestoppers.
For more information log on to westmercia. police.uk and new twitter account, @CitadelWMP.