Town ‘shield’ cuts burglaries by half

Inspection Nick Butler.
Inspection Nick Butler.

‘Cutting edge technology’ is creating a shield around Hucknall that has resulted in an unprecedented fall in crime with burglaries cut by half.

Since the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, strategically positioned around the town, there is nowhere for visiting criminals to hide.

“Hucknall has become a no-go area for criminals,” said Hucknall’s top cop, Insp Nick Butler. “I’m absolutely confident that the ANPR cameras are the big reason for the 50 per cent drop in house burglaries from April to September this year compared to last year.

“This technology has had and continues to have a significant impact in reducing our crime figures across Hucknall.”

The fall means 63 less break-ins and actually means 63 less victims of crime.

“Any such reduction is to be welcomed because it means fewer people having to suffer the trauma this offence causes,” added Insp Butler.

The ANPR technology has been funded through a police partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council after Hucknall Police applied for funding for the scheme.

“Criminals, especially house burglars, were travelling into Hucknall from other areas as we were vulnerable,” added Insp Butler. “But since the ANPR cameras have been in place, everything has changed.”

He said the cameras, resembling ‘large binoculars on top of lamp-posts’, were linked to a national police computer.

This meant that officers could be immediately alerted if a car entering Hucknall had been stolen or if motoring offences were being committed.

“On the very first day of ANPR being used in Hucknall, it led to the arrest of three prolific criminals from Birmingham,” added Insp Butler.

“The cameras also enabled police to track down an elusive man who was arrested for an alleged assault on his partner.”

Another technique in policing the district is using police led operations to tackle the Fatal Four.

Insp Butler told a meeting of the Hucknall Partnership Group on Tuesday, that 300 motorists had been prosecuted under Operation Packhouse for speeding, not wearing a seat belt and other driving offences in Hucknall.

Coun John Wilmott, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, stressed the importance of people reporting all crimes and showing they were not going to stand for such behaviour.