The 'streets of fear' get extra patrols

POLICE are patrolling every street in part of Halifax where residents say they are living in fear.

Officers have launched a huge push to reassure people in the Park ward after a string of break-ins and two violent burglaries.

Masked men broke into two houses – one in Essex Street, one in Rhodes Street – last month, stealing cash and jewellery, and there have been 26 break-ins in the area since the beginning of November.

Police are hoping Operation Hagley will reassure residents they are taking action.

Chief Inspector Martin Lister said residents will be seeing more police activity in the area but they should be reassured, not alarmed.

The plans include a massive increase in foot patrols, with officers working day and night alongside teams in patrol cars.

Inspector Derrick Oldham, who leads Halifax Central neighbourhood policing team said: "I expect them to patrol every one of those streets, even dead-end streets, knocking on doors and speaking to people."

They are also working closely with community leaders and making regular visits to mosques, women's groups, schools and playgroups.

Insp Oldham said: "I know these burglaries are causing concern.

"By pulling together we can catch the people responsible.

"We have already had over 100 calls and are investigating each potential lead."

He added: "I am aware rumours are spreading about other crimes. One of the rumours is that a sexual assault has taken place during a burglary. I have checked this and can confirm it is false."

Three men have been arrested over the Essex Street and Rhodes Street break-ins and released on bail. Another four have been arrested over other burglaries in the area and bailed.

Anyone with information should call Calderdale CID on 01422 337085 or CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.