Car crime up as credit crunch bites

Fears that the economic downturn has led to a rise in car crime and burglaries have prompted Warwickshire police to launch a crime crackdown codenamed Operation Crunch.

The major three-month operation against car criminals and burglars will use high-profile and covert means to target prolific offenders - who will be sent letters informing them of the blitz.

Chief Supt Mak Chishty said: "The number of cars broken into or stolen and burglaries of people's homes has shown an increase recently, and we are not prepared to accept this.

"We are currently analysing the reasons why the number of crimes has risen recently. Some have suggested that the credit crunch, a problem faced by all families, is the reason.

"We say that there is no excuse, and the only crunch around here will be on car criminals and burglars."

Officers stress that crime levels in Warwickshire showed a significant year-on-year fall last year - with car crime and house burglaries reduced by 24% and 17% respectively.

Mr Chishty said: "Where we have evidence that the local crime rate has gone up after the release from prison of a convicted offender, we will target that person - and literally follow their every move."

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