Checks on former jailbirds

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RECENTLY released prisoners are being stopped and searched by police in their quest to cut crime.

The prison service routinely notifies Hartlepool Police when criminals are released.

Officers are now using the information to make sure the most notorious former jailbirds are routinely stop searched and checked on at their homes.

If they can’t explain what they are up to, they are being arrested and taken into the Avenue Road police station to be quizzed.

People on bail from the police and the courts are also being given the same treatment to make sure they don’t breach their bail conditions.

Inspector Lee Rukin said: “If we know someone is coming out who has committed acts such as burglary we will focus our attention on them.

“If they can not explain why they are in an area or what they are doing, they will be arrested on suspicion that they are about to commit a crime.

“It is a viable prevention method as we are encouraging them not to commit crime while trying to educate people as well.”

It is running in conjunction with Operation Shadow, which sees a list of prolific crooks followed by officers, as reported in the Mail.