Police team to combat robberies in L.A.

· Substantial drop since April when more than 100 were reported · Move comes following rise in 5 robberies on day watch released

The Los Angeles police department has launched a task force made up of officers from other district departments as part of a recruitment drive designed to combat a spate of particularly violent robbery operations in the local Chinese-American community.

A Home Affair task force, which is based on the principle of ”follow home” thefts by individuals seeking to fleece shopkeepers while leaving others at home alone, will see officers and detectives from neighbouring agencies work together to arrest and prosecute offenders.

The move is designed to coincide with the release of ”Operation Rescue,” a mass crime-fighting operation released yesterday which sees specially trained officers go into areas known to be plagued by burglaries and home thefts in an attempt to catch suspects before they strike again.

Although the effectiveness of the ”Operation Rescue” operation is not being assessed until it has run for a few months, from January through to March, officer John Bradshaw said that the operation was already on course to reduce the number of robberies in the community.

”By working in collaboration, we’re going to be able to save those victims that have been victimized, those individuals that have been a victim and were followed home and those individuals that can be linked to violent crime,” he said.

He believes that the robberies are an extreme outgrowth of the gang-related violence of the recent past. Since the other officers will then investigate those involved, he hopes that they will be unable to repeat the operation, however, or its offensive tactics, once it is over.

In 2005-06, there were 542 home robbery incidents reported to police in the areas where the Home Affair Task Force will operate.

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