More police officers on patrol over bank holiday weekend

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Police are pulling out all the stops to target criminals who look to prey on people over the May Bank Holiday weekend as they launch a major operation code named Viper 4.

This will see more police vehicles and more officers on the county’s roads than ever before.

Starting from today every police owned vehicle which can be operated on the roads of West Yorkshire will be deployed to target burglars and travelling criminals.

Viper 4, which runs from today until Monday 26 May, is thought to more than triple the number of vehicles and officers that are normally available at one time.

Superintendent Pat Casserly, who is leading the operation, said: “Traditionally we can see a rise in crime over the Bank Holiday weekend and we are determined to buck that trend.

“We have officers, including senior managers and Special Constables, all working over their allotted hours to make sure every vehicle we have is out on the roads making a difference and helping to catch criminals and lower crime.”

A convoy of over 60 police vehicles comprising of cars, vans and motorbikes will lead out of West Yorkshire Police’s new Carr Gate complex, near to junction 41 of the M1 motorway, following the 2pm briefing en-route to operations across the county.

Amongst the convoy will be vehicles normally used to deal with public order operations like football matches. These will be joined by roads policing units, firearms officers, dog units, roads crime team officers and police motorcycle riders. Vehicles used to train advanced police drivers will also be utilised as part of the coordinated deployment of police resources. Mounted officers will also be deployed into potential risk areas to coordinate their visibility with mobile officers.

To keep up-to-date with the progress of the operation please follow the West Yorkshire Police Twitter account @WestYorksPolice and the #WYPViper from 4pm today.

The latest operation forms part of West Yorkshire Police’s major crime reduction offensive Operation Viper that has reduced burglary across the county by 20% and robbery by 10% since it came into force in October last year.

Speaking shortly before the launch of Viper 4, Superintendent Pat Casserly, said: “Our previous Viper operations have been extremely successful with offences of burglary and robbery being significantly reduced and a number of arrests being made.

“We are determined that families should not have their Bank Holiday ruined by becoming victims of crime and we will be out with unprecedented force to target criminals.

“While we are concentrating our efforts on the road network of West Yorkshire let me reassure people this operation is not about targeting drivers in any way. The fact is criminals use the roads and we will be out in force dealing with them for whatever offences we can.

“Officers are briefed that when it comes to dealing with active criminals they should be ‘lawfully merciless,’ just as criminals are unlawfully merciless when they break into people’s homes and steal their property.

“If this means we seize their car for being used without insurance then that’s what we’ll do.

“This will be the fourth time we have run Viper and when you look at what we have achieved previously with offences of burglary reduced by 22% and robbery by 36% we are making a big impact into those who attempt to commit crime.

“I’m very confident we can build on that past success this weekend and keep the communities of West Yorkshire safer and feeling safer.”