How Operation Kraken has helped crime rates fall in Sunderland city centre

New figures for crime and disorder in Sunderland city centre show that rates have dropped – thanks to a successful police operation.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 10:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 11:59 am
Operation Kraken launched at Bridges Shopping centre, Sunderland. Left to right Duncan Allen (The Bridges), David Lynn (SCC), Kate McCafferty (SCC), Sgt Maria Ord (Northumbria Police) Kirsty Currie (BID) and Inspector Jamie Southwell (Northumbria Police). Photo: Elliot Nichol Photography

On Wednesday, January 15, business leaders joined Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness in praising the impact of Operation Kraken after a “significant” drop in crime.

From November 25 until Christmas Eve, uniformed and plain-clothed officers from the force targeted criminality in the area.

Lead by Sergeant Maria Ord and the neighbourhood team, the crackdown was in partnership with the Bridges shopping centre, Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), and Sunderland City Council.

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PCSO Glenn Devlin and PCSO Harvey Kirkup during the operation. Photo: Northumbria Police

Forty people were arrested or escorted to court and 51 dispersal notices were issued across this time period.

Following the 2019 Kraken operation, figures show a 16% decrease in city centre crime compared to 2018.

Sgt Ord said: “The feedback we have received from businesses and the community alike has been hugely positive, and that is reflected in the figures which show a substantial reduction in city centre crime during December.”

Following Operation Kraken and Operation Justice which ran immediately before it, Sunderland’s safety remain a key focus for the force in 2020.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, added: “I am positive that proactive policing like this, coupled with the ‘improving lives to prevent crime’ approach being taken by my violence reduction unit, we can continue to reduce crime here in Sunderland.”

A number of plans are in place for similar operations elsewhere in Wearside.

Andy Bradley, centre director of the Bridges, said his team is looking forward to woring alongside the force and other partners on similar projects in the year ahead.

Kirsty Currie, operations manager at Sunderland BID, added: “The impact Operation Kraken has had on the city centre has yet again shown partnership working can only have positive results.”

Deputy leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, councillor Michael Mordey, has also urged victims of anti-social behaviour to report it.

He said: "By reporting unacceptable behaviour and by continuing to work together, we are all making a difference and making Sunderland safer for everybody."