POLICE are chasing a trio of burglars – in a bid to stamp out a spike in break-ins.

Officers from new unit the Community Tasking Team were out on Tuesday night to catch the crooks.

Inspector Dave Hobman, who is responsible for community policing in South Swindon, said: “The Community Tasking Team are a small team set aside to look at the highest risks to the public.

“We look at what the priority setting is and we push the resources to that.”

Insp Hobman said that coppers from the new team had recently been charged with tackling a rise in burglaries.

In the past year, almost 2,000 burglaries have been recorded by homeowners and businesses across the Swindon area.

Insp Hobman said: “We’ve got an increase in burglaries taking place.”

He called the Community Tasking Team a “committed bunch of individuals who will change their shifts”.

“They’ve been working nights to deal with burglaries,” he added, speaking on Tuesday. “We’ve got three individuals in mind and we’re going out tonight to get them arrested. That’s the plan.”

A Wiltshire Police spokesman confirmed yesterday that no arrests have yet been made.

The burglary swoop came on the same night as councillors from eight parishes met with South Swindon top cop Inspector Hobman to discuss policing priorities.

The eight parishes represent a vast area, from Swindon’s town centre to rural Bishopstone.

In the first meeting of the South Swindon Community Safety Forum, called after concerns that police did not have the officers to send to parish meetings or provide updates.

Valerie Brodin of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council said: “We haven’t had a written police report in two years.”

Councillors raised concerns about slow response times and difficulties using the 101 number.

Insp Hobman said that, despite the difficulties, it was important that people continued to report crimes – through Crimestoppers or the 101 and 999 lines.

“It’s not until a crime’s happened that we can see where we’re going to put our resources,” he said.

“We still want to be proactive. That means we need to know where to be at a certain time to make the most difference.”

The group, which will meet five times a year, heard that tackling drugs was a priority in six out of eight parishes represented.

Insp Hobman said that police were attempting to tackle an organised crime network that saw drugs brought to Swindon by city gangs along the “county lines”.

“We’re seen as a bit of an easy target by some of them,” he said Insp Hobman. He warned that the city dealers were using Swindon kids to peddle their drugs: “These children are being exploited by adults to do this work.”

South Swindon Parish Council chairman Chris Watts, said: “We are very pleased with the inaugural meeting of the Community Safety Forum and we thank Inspector Hobman for his frankness and openness in articulating the challenges he faces with the current resourcing levels."