CONVICTED burglars are being given one last chance to change their ways or face being stalked by police.

In recent months, burglaries have continued to be a problem across the Basildon borough.

Pitsea alone saw 25 break-ins during the space of two weeks in June.

Now a special task force has been set up to drive down the number of break-ins, and police have also vowed to stalk those career burglars who refuse to stop offending.

They have drawn up a list of convicted burglars.

All of the crooks will be offered the chance to work with the probation service to get to the root of why they commit crime and to stop their behaviour. Those refusing to get back on the straight and narrow will be followed by officers as part of the controversial Operation Bright Shadow.

Pioneered in Basildon and first carried out in May 2009, the operation sees police following known burglars wherever they go and sitting outside their homes to stop them committing crime.

Insp Scott Cannon, of Pitsea police, who is leading the new burglary taskforce, said: “Bright Shadow is a proven effective weapon in our arsenal of tactics to use in the war against burglary.

“Unlike previous deployments, we are utilising the expertise of the probation service to offer these offenders a chance to redress their offending before we follow them.

“If they can’t prove they are willing to turn their lives around, then we will follow them overtly.

“If we do follow these individuals, they cannot commit any crime. It really is that simple.”

Frank Tomlin, Basildon councillor responsible for community safety, said: “Being a victim of burglary can be a terrifying ordeal and I hope we can reduce the number of victims by targeting known offenders and encouraging residents to make their property as secure as possible.”