Bank Holiday Viper operation gets results

editorial image

Nearly 50 people were arrested during four days of targeted activity over the Bank Holiday weekend under Operation Viper Four.

Officers from the Operations Division made 24 arrests during the third and fourth days of operational activity for a variety of offences including burglary, drug possession and supply, possession of an offensive weapon, assault and drink driving.

19 vehicles were seized including Ford Mondeo and Ford Focus vehicles which were connected to two fail to stop offences. A Citroen Nemo van which was reported stolen in April was also recovered.

In total over the four days of activity, 359 vehicles and 282 people were stopped with 32 vehicles seized, five stolen vehicles recovered and 49 people arrested.

Officers working on Operation Viper 4 were also involved in the execution of a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at an address in Huddersfield where 17 fully grown cannabis plants were found, a number of arrest enquiries for wanted individuals, assisting the ambulance service with a violent patient and searches for two high risk missing people.

Superintendent Pat Casserly, who led the operation, said: “Our focused activity over the Bank Holiday weekend has resulted in a number of significant arrests; but Operation Viper is not just about getting people in custody but also preventing offences happening in the first place by putting the fear back on the criminals.

“It is clear that the message is getting out there with one convicted offender telling officers that he was going home because ‘the big dogs are out’. This disruption of criminal activity was reflected across West Yorkshire with the anticipated Bank Holiday increase in burglary not materialising. Reported burglaries over the Bank Holiday weekend were down 20 per cent compared to last year; and over the last month as a whole we have seen 176 fewer offences reported than the same period last year.

“It is not just about statistics on a spreadsheet though. Every time a burglar is constrained by our tactics it means there is another family living in West Yorkshire who have not had to experience the devestating effect of this crime.

“A large part of the four day operation concentrated on stopping and checking vehicles and I would like to take this opportunity to thank affected members of the public for their patience. By checking vehicles, we not only deter criminals from using the road network in travelling to and from offences, but also make the roads safer by seizing vehicles from uninsured or unlicensed drivers.

“Residents tell us that they are reassured by the highly visible policing approach we have been taking with Operation Viper and we will continue to listen to our communities as plans are put in place for phase 5 of the operation.”