A POLICE Inspector has reassured Saddleworth that extra measures to tackle the recent commercial crime spike are working as 10 arrests have been made so far.
Inspector Trevor Harrison and Sergeant Neil Barker from Oldham addressed business owners and residents at a meeting at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, organised by Debbie Abrahams MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.
There have been 27 linked commercial offences across Oldham from November 1, 2015 to February 10, 2016 – compared to 14 in the same period a year ago.
Greenfield, Uppermill and Lydgate have suffered 11, six in Saddleworth West and Lees, and another two in Dobcross and Delph, mainly at licensed or retail premises.
But since February 10, there has only been one linked offence in Saddleworth, which led to an arrest and more have since followed.
Insp Harrison explained: “We have seen a slight increase in burglaries but it is not unique to Saddleworth, and we have seen it in Rochdale, Tameside and the town centre too.
“We put a plan in place and it looks to have worked as have been 10 arrests so far in relation to burglaries in Saddleworth and that will continue I am sure.”
He said both covert and overt officers and vehicles have been sent to the area along with extra night patrols.
PCSOs have carried out a trawl on CCTV, and made house-to-house calls as well as delivering leaflets to businesses to raise awareness.
The North West Police’s Underwater Search and Marine Unit recently visited the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Greenfield to search for evidence in relation to an arrest.
And the mounted Police division from GMP Chorlton are taking to the streets in Saddleworth to increase the police presence.
Saddleworth Parish Council Neil Allsopp suggested a ‘security fair’ could be held at the Civic Hall to offer information and services from security businesses, Home Watch and the police.
Insp Harrison added: “We have seen an increase in the public getting in touch with us and that is great as the information is what we need to help get people arrested.
“CCTV is often not of decent enough quality to make an ID but it can be used to build up intelligence and a picture, such as what the criminals are wearing.
“We are waiting on forensic results and hopefully that will help us to make some more arrests.”
Sergeant Neil Baker, who will be based at Uppermill Police Station from May, added: “We have had a lot of positive feedback about the extra resources and mounted police.”
They assured the public there has not been the same problem with domestic burglaries, with only three more reported this year compared to the same period in 2015.
Debbie Abrahams highlighted the £8.5million cuts to police funding across Greater Manchester and the loss of 1,700 front line jobs, which she raised recently during a House of Commons debate.
She said: “One of the reasons I called this meeting was to help people. This is not the end of the process, it is the start.
“We know the police are under huge pressure at the moment but I want to work with them and the community to make sure we have a safe and supportive society.”
If you witness a burglary in progress or any suspicious criminal activity contact the police immediately by calling 999. You can call 101 in a non-emergency.
The police can carry out a full risk assessment of your home or business. Please contact PSCO Monica Seville for more information: Monica.Seville@gmp.police.uk