Merseyside Police film burglars as they leave prison CONVICTED burglars are being filmed by police as they walk out of prison in a pioneering bid to stop them falling back into a life of crime.
Officers are waiting for offenders to leave Liverpool jails and then videoing them and handing them warning letters.
The correspondence informs the cons they are being watched.
It also offers them help to end their career of crime.
Guidance is also given to put offenders in touch with drugs and alcohol misuse programmes such as The Lighthouse Project in Liverpool city centre.
Merseyside Police’s burglary squad said they have had some major successes replaying the footage in court if a suspect re-offends.
Sgt Steve Reardon told the ECHO the film has helped convince judges to reject “sob stories” from defendants that they have lapsed into a life of crime.
The recording can provide evidence burglars were offered help to break free from the cycle of offending, but the advice was rejected.
A string of Liverpool burglars received heavier sentences at court after films were played.
Police are also knocking on the front doors of persistent burglars to hand them warning letters. And officers are also using the cameras to film suspects at their front doors.
Letters again are passed to the occupants advising them to stay out of trouble.
Sgt Reardon said: “We are in the faces of regular offenders. We don’t hide, we tell them we’re watching them.
“For some people, we’re knocking on their doors every day.
“We won’t accept hard luck stories about drugs.
“We will oppose people asking for bail and give them the chance to link up with drugs counselling services like The Lighthouse Project.
“We will not accept hard luck stories.
“When they walk out of prison, we are waiting for them and filming them.
“The footage is really useful to prove to judges in court how we’ve made efforts to put them on the right track.
“We know its working as one lad asked us to put him in jail as he was sick of all the police attention.
“It’s vitally important that people phone us to help root out the burglars in their community.” THE ECHO