Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Nearly 600 held in burglary raids

Spotlight campaign
Police are targeting known and wanted burglars in the operation

A crackdown on burglaries across London over the festive period has led to 593 arrests, police have said.

The Metropolitan Police has been targeting known and wanted burglars since mid-November and warning Londoners to secure their homes.

Of those arrested, 250 were charged with burglary and 200 were charged with other offences.

Det Ch Supt Phil Kaye said Operation Spotlight got off to an "excellent start" and will continue into 2009.

Metropolitan Police Authority spokesman James Cleverly said: "It's the most painful time for people to lose their possessions, particularly if they have had to scrimp and save to buy them."

Mayor Boris Johnson described the results as "impressive".

"It's about time that the criminals had their Christmas and New Year ruined and were behind bars, rather than ordinary Londoners suffering from theft in their own homes," he said.

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