Suspected criminals say new police tactic is “not fair”

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Suspected criminals have described the latest covert tactic of police officers in plain clothes using push bikes to target burglars as “not fair”.

The activity has formed part of West Yorkshire Police’s Viper initiative, which aims to target the county’s most prolific burglars by using crime profiling, intelligence systems and innovative tactics, to ensure officers are in the right places at the right times.

Over the course of this weekend, plain clothed officers taking part in a specialist Viper operation used push bikes to covertly place themselves into communities to help identify those looking to carry out crime, particularly burglary.

During the latest operation, which ran over three shifts from Friday through to the early hours of today, 49 people were arrested for a variety of offences including burglary, theft from vehicles and drug offences.

Sixteen vehicles, which had previously been stolen, were recovered with 28 other vehicles seized, the majority of which had been found to be driven with either no insurance or by a disqualified or non-qualified driver.

Supt Pat Casserly, who led the operation, said: “This activity was about taking the fight to those who look to prey like vultures on our communities and targeting them before they have chance to carry out crime.

“Over the weekend, the combination of uniformed officers in performance vehicles, public order vans and covert assets brought about 49 arrests and a reduction in burglary.

“This weekend marked the first deployment of plain clothes officers on push bikes to compliment the operation by spotting suspects and calling in uniformed colleagues in high powered cars to apprehend them.

“To then have suspects complaining to officers that our work wasn’t fair on them says it all and guarantees that we’ll be repeating this tactic in the near future as we continue to work hard to make our communities safer and feeling safer.”