Police target St Albans City Station after rise in street robberies

PUBLISHED: 10:42 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010

AN INCREASE in street robberies in St Albans has led to a strong police presence at the main railway station today (Thursday). Police are targeting criminals coming into St Albans from London and Luton as part of a two-week operation to improve community

AN INCREASE in street robberies in St Albans has led to a strong police presence at the main railway station today (Thursday).

Police are targeting criminals coming into St Albans from London and Luton as part of a two-week operation to improve community safety within the city centre.

Knife arches - airport-style metal detectors - drugs dogs and a mobile police station will be in the city with various police teams including neighbourhood and covert officers who have been working with British Transport Police.

The operation began on February 14 as a result of an increase in street robberies - between October 1, 2008, and December 31, 2008 there were 15 robberies, a 67 per cent increase over the previous year.

Intervention inspector Nick Caveney said: "We had little evidence to work on but we were convinced that the offenders were using the mainline railway network from central London and Luton to get into St Albans city centre to commit these robberies.

"The operation, which has so far been covert, was developed to increase the safety of members of the public in and around St Albans by reducing the chances of them becoming victims of crime, especially robbery."

He explained that the operation was also about proactively detecting crime and arresting criminals and expressed the hope that it increased feelings of reassurance and safety about the city which has low levels of crime.

He added: "Anyone intent on causing crime or anti-social behaviour in the city should think again. This is not just a one-off operation, we have regular, often covert patrols, and we want to make sure St Albans is a no-go area for criminals coming into the city.

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