Published On: Fri, Sep 5th, 2014 on 12:50 pm

Police cycling to blend in and catch county criminals

Operation Viper Bikes

Officers in plain clothes have started patrolling suburban areas in Leeds, Bradford and other parts of West Yorkshire.

The operation will form as part of West Yorkshire Police’s Viper initiative, which uses crime profiling, intelligence systems and tactics to target the county’s most prolific burglars.

Superintendent Pat Casserly, who is leading the operation, said: “Our Viper operations have been extremely successful in terms of tackling burglary and the latest tactic we are employing is about getting officers into neighbourhoods who can blend in with local people and target those who are looking to commit crime.

“This activity is about supporting the work of our uniformed neighbourhood-based colleagues and just putting a seed of doubt in the mind of those who actively prey, often on their own communities, by trying to gain access to homes by trying doors and looking to get through open windows.”

The bikes used by officers will be those that have been recovered by police as suspected stolen property, and have until this point remained unused in police stores, as officers have been unable to trace their rightful owners.

West Yorkshire Police will also be deploying every one of its operational vehicles this weekend, including police motorbikes and driver training vehicles.

Since Operation Viper came into effect last year, incidents of burglary have been down by 920 offences and over 1,000 fewer victims have been recorded since April when compared to last year.

Over 200 people have since been arrested for a range of offences including burglary and drugs supply. Officers have also recovered over 20 stolen vehicles.

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