FOLLOWING the frightening number of burglaries in Penn and Tylers Green over the festive period Police launched a special operation aiming to arrest and bang up the grinches who spoilt Christmas for a number of families.  


Over eight weeks in November and December there was an average of three reported burglaries a week in the village. There were also numerous house break-ins in Hazlemere, Loudwater and Flackwell Heath.


Under the code name Operation Gallant Police formed a specialised team of officers to investigate each individual burglary report in an attempt to find the evidence to make arrests.


Operation Gallant has involved plain-clothed officers patrolling areas where burglary numbers have been high and observing for suspicious activity.


The operation has proven successful as it has resulted in twenty-five arrests. They included four men - aged 25, 27, 30 and 37 - who were arrested for being "equipped to steal". The same men were also arrested following a burglary in Iver Heath.


A local resident spoke of his delight at the success of the Operation:


“I’m so happy to hear the news that the Christmas thieves have been captured. Serves them right too for destroying Christmas day for so many families, as well as scaring many villagers.


The Police have done some brilliant work. They acted swiftly and efficiently. I can’t fault Operation Gallant.


The atmosphere in the village seems to have been lifted. During the last couple of months I, and many others, have been afraid to leave the house past seven o’clock. I am pleased that the village has returned to normal. I am much happier in leaving the house unattended.


I just hope Penn and Tylers Green can recover from the traumatic past few months and my sympathies go out to the families who fell victim to the sinister crooks.”


Oli Clements