Thursday, February 18, 2010

British Police To Pose As Burglars In The Community

Cheshire Police have begun to act using burglar’s tactics to test doors and windows in the dead of night to increase home security. If they find one open, then they will knock on the offending door, wake up the home’s residents, and give them a lecture.

The “crime stopping” initiative is called “Operation Golden.” The police are using the tactic of seeing if doors and windows are unlocked because they say 40% of all burglaries originate with unlocked doors and windows.

Some elderly residents are skeptical of the plan. Many believe that it will be confusing for them. Many are ready to give police their own lecture about trespassing on their private property, waking people up and scaring them. Some residents have said that they won’t be polite about the police incursions. Some are just opposed to the nighttime visits. The operation is currently done between 4:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. Police believe that reasonable people would be grateful.

Many British burglaries are done while resident are home. The home invaders will sneak in and grab what they can while the victims are watching TV.

This kind of police tactic is dangerous, and  might be met with gunfire in the United States by an unknowing and scared homeowner in a situation like that encountered by a 38 year old woman in East Sussex. A  man that she did not know was a policeman was actually climbing into her window. That policeman was participating in the simulated burglary operation. The policeman had the brashness to give her a lecture about her open window that he was trying to climb through.   

Police are passing out door hanging cards that list security precautions that residents should take before leaving home. We wonder if the police official who thought of this plan received a promotion for having come up with the idea.

However, there are proven dangers in British police playing cops and robbers. English Constable Ian Terry was playing an armed robber in a training exercise when he was shot in the chest by a fellow policeman who was just a foot away. Terry was playing the role of a robber fleeing in a car in the exercise.

He was hit with an “irritant” 12 gauge round from a Remington 870. That round is designed to flatten tires, break windows, and stop cars. But this round did more that when it hit Terry. It struck him in the left chest and killed him. The other officer opened fire when he saw Terry’s gun. He didn’t know that Terry would be armed and fired instinctively. They were supposedly told that the role play actor would not have a loaded gun, and that the guns would be pointed down.

Some participating officers told investigators that the training officer said in a briefing that paintball guns would be used.  An inquest is being conducted.

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Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department 
are looking for JOHN EDWARD MCDONALD 
on charges of Home Invasion Robbery, 
Burglary, Kidnapping & False Imprisonment.

Suspect (left): McDONALD, John Edward 
DOB: 04/03/79 White male/5'08/170/Brown/Blue
Suspect CAPTURE #132 MORRIS, William 
aka Billy DOB: 09/02/77

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