Police raid South Yorkshire homes and firms

Police force entry to a property in Athersley, Barnsley
Police force entry to a property in Athersley, Barnsley
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Homes were raided, secondhand shops visited and scrapyards searched in a new crackdown on crime.

South Yorkshire Police launched Operation Benchmark to deter offenders from lives of crime.

They smashed down doors across Barnsley looking for drugs and stolen property and made three arrests.

A Royston man was found in possession of children’s clothes and razor blades, which are believed to be stolen, a Thurnscoe man was caught with suspected stolen tools and a Royston man was caught with cannabis.

Officers also visited scrapyards and secondhand shops looking for stolen property.

Inspector Simon Leake, who is overseeing the operation, said it is running alongside Operation Lockdown – a county-wide crackdown on burglary and vehicle crime after a spike in both offences. “Operation Benchmark is a high visibility drive on reducing crime and showing the public what we are doing,” he said.

“It’s about sending a message to criminals that there is nowhere to hide while at the same time reassuring communities that we are there for them.

“We are looking for stolen property and offenders involved in vehicle crime and burglary. We are also looking for drugs because we know drugs go hand in hand with acquisitive crime.”

Insp Leake said all scrapyards and secondhand dealers in the town will be visited to look for stolen goods which may have been sold on.

“We will be looking at what has arrived through their doors and checking whether anything matches items recorded as stolen on our databases,” he added.

“It is easier for us to reunite the rightful owners of property with stolen goods if they have registered them beforehand on the Immobilise website – we would recommend everyone does that.”

Police will be joined through the week by specialist roads policing officers looking for offenders misusing vehicles.

The force is warning vehicles could be seized.

Officers are also planning to visit crime hotspots across Barnsley targeting local issues of concern.