National week of action to tackle personal robbery
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A national initiative aimed at tackling personal robbery starts today in Kent.
Between Monday 20 November and Sunday 26 November 2023Operation Calibre will see officers from Kent Police join all other forces in raising awareness of the lasting impact robbery can have on people, as well as targeting hotspot areas, increasing visibility and arresting those intent on committing crime.
Between April 2022 and March 2023 there were 1,190 robberies across the county, which is a six per cent increase on the previous year where there were 1,123.
Nationally there were 75,265 personal robberies across the UK. This is an increase of 13% from the previous year for the same period.
This is the second year in which Operation Calibre has been run to help focus on prevention and detection of robbery offences.
Reducing robbery is a key element in tackling violence and Kent Police has a dedicated team of officers specifically devoted to this type of offence, along with burglary, who will pursue serial offenders across the county, disrupt their activity and put them before the courts.
The Kent Crime Squad was launched in February 2019 and so far investigations carried out by the team have led to offenders being jailed for more than 1,883 years. The team has also made 1,266 arrests and secured 3,348 charges.
Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Ross from the Kent Crime Squad said: ‘Anyone can become a target of robbery, but more often some of the most vulnerable in society are targeted and the threats that extreme violence may be used often make robbery particularly traumatic.
‘Tackling robbery remains a high priority for policing and Operation Calibre means we will target our activity in known hotspot areas, increase our visibility and operational activity and arrest those intent on committing crime.
‘This sends a message to those who think it is ok to commit a robbery and inflict violence in our communities that this will not be tolerated.’
Criminals also look for easy opportunities so the more you can do to make it harder for a criminal, the lower the chance of you becoming a victim.
Look confident - You are less likely to be targeted if you look confident.
Move with purpose and try to be aware of your surroundings.
Know where you’re going - Plan your route and think about what to take with you, especially if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before.
Keep to busy, well-lit streets, walkways and paths which are more likely to be covered by CCTV.
Only take licensed taxis or minicabs booked by phone or a mobile phone app.
Keep your mobile phone and valuables out of sight. If you’re using your phone it’s more likely to be snatched from your hand as you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, so look around you.
And never leave a mobile, any other device, wallet or purse on the table of an outdoor café, pub or restaurant. Same goes for any jewellery you might be wearing – keep it covered when walking down the street.
If you’re threatened with violence, don’t risk your personal safety. Property can be replaced, you can’t.
Report it straight away. If a crime is in progress call 999.