Car thieves take a day off

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The Independent Online
Car thieves take a day off

A police force was celebrating another success for its "zero tolerance" anti-crime campaign yesterday - 24 hours without a car theft. Cleveland Police's three-month offensive to clamp down on all kinds of offending, no matter how trivial, has already produced a string of benefits and the car thieves' day off is seen as another milestone. The fresh breakthrough came during the 24 hours of Wednesday when, according to police records, not a single car was taken in Middlesbrough.

On Thursday there were three car thefts - but even that was not totally bad news in a town which averages seven a day. The campaign was launched by Detective Chief Inspector Ray Mallon who said he would resign if crime was not cut by 25 per cent in 18 months. A special crackdown on burglary in the force area led to a 37.7 per cent decrease in the number of incidents last month. Over a four-month period 1,214 burglaries have been detected, with 945 arrests and property worth pounds 167,875 recovered.