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Police Campaign To Show Real Cost Of Bent Bargains
Thursday 10th June, 2010

Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan Division is today launching a campaign urging people to make the link between buying stolen goods and fuelling further crime, drug abuse and misery in their community.

Police say that the bargain watch, sat nav or mobile phone you may be offered in the pub, betting shop or at your door has probably been taken during a burglary, car crime or robbery.

In some cases criminals may have used or threatened violence to get it. In every case it leaves a victim who has not only lost valuables but is left distressed and possibly emotionally scarred. Stolen items may have sentimental value and therefore be sorely missed and irreplaceable.

By refusing to buy goods they suspect may have been stolen, people can help stem further crime, deprive drug users of cash and force them into rehabilitation.

Criminals use money made from dealing drugs to live extravagant lifestyles and fund other serious crimes such as armed robberies, protection rackets and prostitution.

The campaign features posters and postcards* showing items that are most often targeted by thieves because they are valuable, portable and easy to sell on. These include laptops, sat navs, watches and jewelry, mobile phones and MP3 players.

People are urged to report criminals selling stolen goods by calling police on 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Chief Inspector Clara Williams of Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan Division said: “We want people to stop and think before they snap up a bargain mobile phone, sat nav or other item in the pub. They should ask themselves if they could happily use it knowing that it may have been taken forcibly from its proper owner.

“They should also ask themselves what the money they hand over will be used for, and what longer-term effect it will have on their community. I am certain that when the majority of people have thought this through they will say ‘no thanks’ and hopefully report the incident. We can then use this information to rid our communities of callous criminals and save innocent people from becoming victims of crime.”

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