Extra police target Sheffield burglars

Extra police officers are targeting burglars in Sheffield
Extra police officers are targeting burglars in Sheffield

Extra police officers have been drafted into a specialist team in Sheffield to target burglars causing misery around the city.

There has been a 'spike' in burglaries across South Yorkshire over the last two weeks, with 55 reported break-ins on Wednesday alone.

There were 29 homes targeted along with 26 businesses, outhouses, sheds and garages.

In Sheffield there were 14 homes broken into that day.

To combat the traditional rise in offences over the winter months, a specialist team set up to tackle burglary has expanded and how has 40 members investigating offences and tracking down culprits.

The team places officers in hot spot areas where crimes are on the up and where burglars are believed to be active - in a bid to catch offenders in the act, deter them and to reassure residents that the issue is a priority.

Detective Inspector Paul Murphy, who runs the Sheffield team, said burglary is 'extremely traumatic' for victims and a crime taken 'very seriously' by the force.

He said there is an annual increase in offences over the dark, winter months when properties are more vulnerable.

"Our staffing level has increased by 40 per cent as we target burglary in both a reactive and investigative way as well as proactively and by being a presence in communities," he said.

"We are visible in communities where offences have taken place or are taking place but we are also proactively targeting individuals who we believe to be involved in burglary - monitoring and visiting on a daily, weekly and monthly basis

"And on a daily basis we are carrying out arrests."

He added: "At this time of year burglary is particularly problematic and it is a year on year trend down to dark nights and more locations being more vulnerable.

"It is not acceptable and South Yorkshire Police does take burglary very seriously."

He urged members of the public to report offenders and any suspicious activity to help officers trace crooks.

"The police will do everything they can to arrest people responsible for burglaries but we do need the public's help in terms of pointing us in the right direction so that collectively we can all play our part in making people feel safer in their homes," he added.

Anyone with information on burglars should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.