1,000 homes targeted in operation

Operation Cannon on Buckshaw Village

Operation Cannon on Buckshaw Village

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Open homes, cars unlocked, and bikes lying on pavements.

Those were just some of the scenes greeted by police as they launched Operation Cannon - an attempt to stamp out opportunist thieves striking in Buckshaw Village.

The operation, which targeted 1,000 homes on Wednesday afternoon, found 62 cars insecure, 25 garages unlocked, and one house was found unlocked, with the keys in the door, and the homeowners out.

The Guardian joined police as they brought home the message that nowhere is safe from crime – even the picturesque new estates on Buckshaw.

Sgt Andy Bramhall, of Chorley police, said: “These are new developments and people are coming here from all over.

“They feel safe here, and it is safe here, but there are offences happening because people just aren’t looking after their own property. They are leaving front doors open with keys to their expensive Mercedes outside.

“When something dreadful happens and their sat-navs go missing they want to know what the police are doing about it.

“We can’t be here all the time, and people do need to look after their own property.

“They need to lock their cars, and their houses, and bring their bikes in from the lawn. I want people to be talking about this. I want word to spread.”

PC Mike Payne, who co-ordinated the operation, said: “In the last three weeks there has been seven thefts from vehicles due to insecure doors, and in some cases expensive items have been left on show.

“Within the same period there has been four burglaries.

“Operation Cannon was conducted over two-and-a-half hours to highlight the issue of insecure cars, garages and properties due to a recent spike in crime. “The operation was a great success with approximately 1,000 cars and properties being visited.

“One house was found with the front door keys in the lock, leaving the house full of valuables.”

The operation followed a week of patrols where police checked cars, and residents were given crime prevention advice, supported by Chorley Council.