Headlines: September 25th, 2009

The Home Office has launched a new initiative to target prolific offenders and disrupt the sale of stolen goods in areas where burglary and robbery are rising.

The Vigilance Programme will involve pre-emptive support, training and additional resources to 35 areas facing challenges of rising crime. Local plans include: targeted police operations that follow and film prolific burglars, monitoring vehicles coming and going in high-crime neighbourhoods as well as providing additional officers to monitor known prolific offenders and disrupt stolen goods markets.

There will also be measures to help people who are potential victims of crime by handing out free crime prevention devices such as Smartwater marking kits and computer tracking licenses. Security advice will be given to people at risk of being burgled.

Much of crime is committed by serial offenders and greater effort will be put into monitoring well known and repeat offenders through the Integrated Offender Management Scheme. This will allow police, local authority and probation teams to supervise more people and further reduce reoffending rates.

It will also be important in Vigilance areas to develop better links between courts, police, councils and prisons to ensure more offenders are being monitored.

In previous recessions crimes like burglary and robbery have increased substantially and the Vigilance Programme is designed to ensure that increased crime is tackled vigorously, particularly in the crime hotspots.

The Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships in 35 areas were invited to be part of the scheme which is designed to be a pre-emptive approach to preventing early signs of rises in burglary and robbery during the past six months. The programme of support will last for one year and will then be reviewed.

The areas are: Leeds, Barking & Dagenham, Tameside, Redbridge, Portsmouth, Bolton, Kirklees, Leicester, Peterborough, Derby, Havering, Cambridge, Bradford, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Stockport, Merton, North Lincolnshire, Salford, Croydon, Southend, Calderdale, City of Westminster, Bromley, North East Lincolnshire, Central Bedfordshire, Trafford, York, Wycombe, Basildon, Bexley, Doncaster, Sheffield, Manchester; and Nottingham.