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High visibility police operation against gangs, anti-social behaviour and robbery

January 5, 2012

Even mounted officers have been drafted-in to patrol the neighbourhood

Scores of police officers have been patrolling Caledonian Road since early December as part of an operation to clampdown on anti-social behaviour, gang-related activity and to stop the recent spate of smartphone-related snatch robberies and assaults.

As a result, the Cally Road, Bemerton and adjoining estates have seen a sharp decline in the number of youths (usually from outside the area) loitering and causing trouble.

The Borough’s police say the special operation – which will continue for several more weeks – is designed to “overwhelm suspected criminals on target days by disrupting, deterring and detaining those involved.”

The police are employing a number of tactics using officers on pedal cycles, motorcycles, foot patrol and marked police vehicles. Some officers have also been equipped with a handheld screening devices that detect electronic tags in bicycle frames to establish if a cycle has been stolen.

As a direct result of the operation, arrests have been made for a variety of offences including handling stolen goods, drug related offences, offensive weapons and money laundering. The police have also undertaken dozens of stop and searches on suspects believed to be involved in this sort of activity.

Councillor Paul Convery said “The dramatic increase in police presence has made a real improvement in the area over the past month and public reaction has been very positive indeed. One afternoon recently, I watched as one well-known teenager being arrested on the street as part of this operation. Whilst he was being searched by the arresting officers, other police had to restrain his mother who vehemently protested his innocence. Arrested for handling stolen goods he was also found to be in possession of Class B drugs concealed in his underwear. This teenager is no longer causing trouble on the Cally.”

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