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Project makes goods too hot to handle.

POLICE in the Midlands could soon be using the "market reduction approach" to stolen goods.

A pilot scheme has already been started in the Medway towns of Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester and Strood.

Dr Sutton is working with the force to implement the strategy with the aim of reducing burglaries and other thefts.

By making stolen goods "too hot to handle", they should reduce the motivation to steal.

The results of the Action Research Project will be used to help to form crime-reduction policy and, if successful, will be implemented by other forces.

The scale of theft is huge. In the West Midlands Police area in 1996-97, there were 85,934 burglaries and 138,765 thefts.

The total value of property stolen in Birmingham, the Black Country, Solihull and Coventry was pounds 231,940,610, of which pounds 70,196,514 was recovered.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "The report Handling Stolen Goods and Theft: A Market Reduction Approach identifies the areas where stolen good are bought and distributed and makes welcome recommendations as to tactics to prevent those outlets fro m providing a ready market for thieves.

"Denying thieves and burglars the opportunity to dispose of stolen property will clearly discourage them from reoffending."
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 24, 1998
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