AN operation to crack down on burglars across the borough has led to several key arrests.

Operation Castle was launched in response to a high domestic and commercial burglary rate.

And within the first week, officers say had arrested a number of suspected burglars.

Officers believe two distinct groups are operating in Bolton, one of which specialises in 'smash and grabs' and the other which operates more subtly by breaking locks.

As part of the operation the force has a vehicle dedicated to tackling the crime.

Officers on a morning shift, which runs between 7am and 5pm and the later shift which runs from 3pm until midnight this vehicle responds to burglaries.

And on the night shift, which runs from 9pm until 7am, officers operate in plainclothes in burglary 'hot spot' areas.

Chief Insp Martin Ashurst said: “We are moving towards proactive policies so there is no overnight serious acquisitive crime. People deserve to be able to sleep safe in their own houses, knowing the vehicles they have worked hard to buy can get them to work the next day. That is what I want to move towards.

“When burglaries have happened we promise to response to it in a reasonable time and do a thorough investigation and do what we can to capture the people that are responsible and put them away.

“People in the community can contact us if they are concerned or they need crime prevention advice. They can also support us by forwarding images on CCTV of prowlers, this can be reported using 101, 999 or the live chat.”

Cllr Mudasir Dean, the borough's cabinet member for stronger communities, said: "It is warming to see the change in the police response. Since the arrival of the new Chief Constable, who came to Bolton last week, it is interesting he wants to see the amount of arrests for burglary double.

“In order to do that there will need to be a bigger police presence in Bolton. That is something I welcome and residents welcome as well, it is an area of concern.

“It is good to see some positive work being done. If burglaries are coming down it can only be a good thing. There is a lot of work to be done before we get to the right level of arrests, I look forward to working in partnership with the police on this.”