Last week, we took part in Operation Calibre, a national week of intensified action tackling personal robbery.
The second annual week of action resulted in nine arrests for serious and acquisitive crime – which covers domestic burglary, personal robbery, theft from a person, and theft of and from a motor vehicle – along with the recovery of two stolen cars and three stolen motorcycles. A further car was seized in relation to driving offences.
In central Bristol, a robbery and a separate theft involving mobile phones led officers to locate and seize a vehicle related to the offence. The suspects were then tracked to South Wales and the investigation remains ongoing.
In north Bristol, roads policing officers responded to a call from a member of the public of two individuals acting suspiciously around parked vehicles. The suspects fled, but two stolen motorbikes were recovered from the scene. The investigation continues.
An important priority for policing
Detective Inspector Keith Smith, our lead for Operation Calibre, said: “Tackling robbery remains an important priority for policing, and we welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues across England and Wales for this coordinated period of intensification around robbery, which is a significant contributor to violent crime in the UK.
“Robbery can cause significant and long-lasting trauma to victims, impacting on their confidence and lives. Anyone can become a target of robbery, but it is often some of the most vulnerable in society who are targeted.
“The week saw some good results; however, it doesn’t stop here. Robbery is a crime we continue to focus on, with a variety of work, conducted at local level, targeting suspects and locations to deter and pursue those responsible.
“We commonly see offenders who commit robbery connected to other serious crimes. We want to be clear – criminal behaviour won’t be tolerated in Avon and Somerset, and we will pursue and apprehend those involved, taking them off the streets.
“If you do become a victim of a robbery or have witnessed a robbery that has just happened, please report it to us immediately by calling 999. If you have seen suspicious behaviour, have concerns or have information that may assist in apprehending a criminal, please call 101.”
Zero tolerance approach
Mark Shelford, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset said: “The results from Avon and Somerset Police from this year’s Operation Calibre crackdown show the zero tolerance approach to personal robbery in our communities.
“Personal robbery is traumatic and devastating. Everyone should feel able to go about their daily lives without living in fear of becoming a victim of this type of crime. I urge everyone to be vigilant and to be aware of their surroundings and follow the advice provided to help prevent this crime.”
Avon and Somerset Police are sharing some safety advice in support of the week, encouraging people to make it harder for criminals to operate:
- Robberies after using a cash machine are rare in our region but it is important to remain alert when withdrawing money. Be aware of anyone standing close by and always check to see if the machine has been tampered with. If it doesn’t feel safe, don’t use it, and opt to use a machine inside a bank if possible. Avoid distractions while withdrawing money and cover your PIN. When the cash is dispensed, secure it and your card in your bag or wallet before turning away from the machine.
- When out in public, keep your phone out of sight when possible and when you do have to use it, pay attention to your surroundings. Look up, look out, stay aware and report any suspicions or concerns to help protect yourself and others.
- You can register your phone for free on immobilise.com and keep a note of your IMEI number by dialling *#06#. This can help the police to recover it if it is stolen.
- Whether it is for a new bike for Christmas, or an old one you have had for years, we recommend registering cycles on BikeRegister for free, which can help to recover it if it is stolen – www.bikeregister.com/join. Also look out for our free bike marking events which take place throughout the year.