ARMED POLICE officers are acting as an extra ‘set of eyes’ across Saddeworth in the fight against rising burglaries – but how could YOU help police and your neighbours?
The current spate of raids has topped more than 70 since August with many happening during mornings and up to lunchtime when valuables were stolen and homes ransacked.
Thieves have focussed attacks on properties in Denshaw, Delph, Dobcross, Grasscroft and Greenfield.
In a statement, Bash Anwar, relief GMP Inspector for Saddleworth, confirmed armed officers are in the community.
He added: “Their presence has absolutely nothing to do with any link between firearms and the burglaries.
“It just so happens that from the range of force resources available, only officers from the firearms unit have been free to come to Saddleworth.
“Members of the public should not be unduly concerned. In fact, armed officers are a very valuable resource as it deters people from committing crime in the area and they should be welcomed.
“I would urge people not to panic and to ensure they use their burglar alarms and lights when their home is unoccupied, and remain vigilant for any suspicious activity which they should report to the police.”
In a previous statement he had said: “Additional central force resources have been deployed to Saddleworth during the day.
“I am currently seeking funding for officers to provide high visibility policing when the Saddleworth team are not on duty.
“There are lines of enquiry currently being investigated by our CID department in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police who have encountered similar issues in their area.
“A number of arrests have taken place, however we believe that more than one team is involved. Our neighbourhood team are working on additional lines of enquiry.”
Now, Royce Franklin, chair of Saddleworth Homewatch, is urging locals to join Homewatch or form a group so they can help the police protect the community.
“Our members learn how to become more vigilant and spot suspicious circumstances,” he explained.
“They usually take on a co-ordinating role in a neighbourhood of about 20 houses.
“Ideally, members attend meetings at Uppermill Conservative Club, on a Wednesday. There is normally a guest speaker who will tell attenders about how to prevent crime.”
He added: “Homewatch cannot pretend to stop all crime. But it has a proven record of preventing crime and members have been responsible, both in Saddleworth and nationwide, for the arrest of many culprits.”
Regular updates on police activities are carried daily on Saddleworth’s own internet radio station, Saddleworth FM.
Meantime, Oldham’s police chief, Ch Supt Caroline Ball will address Saddleworth Homewatch at Uppermill Conservative Club on Wednesday, November 16, at 7.45pm. All residents are welcome.
To contact the police in an emergency call 999 or for a less urgent matter call 101.
For the latest information about your Neighbourhood Policing Team visit www.gmp.police.uk
For more information about Homewatch call Royce Franklin: 01457 873248.