Eagle-eyed to catch criminals

Temporary chief inspector Lee Rukin.
Temporary chief inspector Lee Rukin.

POLICE are pounding the pavements in plain clothes throughout the winter nights in a bid to snare thieves and burglars.

Operation Eagle sees officers in Hartlepool swap their uniforms for jeans and jumpers as they patrol the town’s streets.

It is one of a number of initiatives being ran by the town’s force to combat crime over the festive period.

Temporary Chief Inspector Lee Rukin, of Hartlepool Police, said: “Officers are wearing plain clothes, heading out on foot, on bikes and in cars, and going all over the town. It’s all about being covert.

“My message to anyone thinking of committing a crime is that the person who just walked past you in the street could be, and probably is, a police officer. If you look suspicious, you will be stopped and questioned.

“We have already had a number of successes and crime is down in the town. But we are determined to bring it down even further and to make sure everyone has an enjoyable Christmas.”

Operation Eagle is part of the Mail-backed Respect Hartlepool campaign to make the town a better place to live and work.

The Mail reported how officers are delivering Christmas cards to known criminals in the town to warn them to stay out of trouble.

It is one of a number of ideas being put into action by Hartlepool Police.

We are running a series of articles over the Christmas period on the range of schemes being ran by Hartlepool Police at this time of year.

The festivities can see alcohol-related violence, domestic disturbances and burglaries.

Police are also warning motorists not to drink and drive, including being still over the limit the day after a big night out.