Northamptonshire Police celebrate Operation Guardian landmark

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More than 4,000 criminals have been arrested as part of a major police operation to tackle robberies, house burglaries and vehicle thefts.

Operation Guardian was launched by Northamptonshire police in late 2009 and this month officers have hit the landmark figure of 4,000 arrests.

Sgt Craig Johnson is part of the Operation Guardian support team which co-ordinates and plans operations across the force.

He said: “This is an impressive figure, even by our count. This means thousands of people have been arrested for offences related to serious acquisitive crime.

“We have been reducing those crimes year on year and do our best to prevent crime. These arrests will have had quite an impact on our communities.”

Every year the force has held more than 20 high impact days as part of the operation and the latest one this month resulted in 13 arrests across the county, including the arrests of four men wanted in connection with an armed robbery at the Co-op store in Kingsway, Wellingborough, on January 26.

The four men have since been released on bail and one was recalled to prison.

Since the beginning of the year the force has increased the length of its high impact days to include the times its intelligence has shown criminals are most likely to be operating.

The Operation Guardian team is also making sure that any intelligence it receives from the public is passed on to officers on the ground as quickly as possible so they can disrupt criminal activity.

The force is showing no signs of slowing down its Operation Guardian work and officers have urged members of the public to continue to come forward with information about suspects.

Sgt Johnson said: “The community needs to know we’re not just tackling these types of criminals on high impact days. Our officers are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, although they will not always be visible to the public because sometimes they need to work covertly.

“We will follow up any information that is provided by the public.”

Sgt Johnson added there was a clear choice for criminals.

He said: “If criminals want to change their ways they can come to us and we will help them through schemes like the Rose Project.

“But if they do not we will do everything we can to disrupt their lifestyles, their offending and their lives as a whole because they are trying to disrupt our communities.”