FENLAND: Police act to halt rocketing summer time burglaries

PUBLISHED: 14:33 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:27 02 June 2010

Ds Matt swash and tow of his priority crime team
l2r Dc's Karaline cox and Liz Varley

Ds Matt swash and tow of his priority crime team l2r Dc's Karaline cox and Liz Varley

POLICE in the Fens say they are determined to reduce the number of summer burglaries which last year saw a 151 per cent increase from May to September. Central Division, which includes Fenland and Huntingdonshire, recorded 41 burglaries last May, rising t

POLICE in the Fens say they are determined to reduce the number of summer burglaries which last year saw a 151 per cent increase from May to September.

Central Division, which includes Fenland and Huntingdonshire, recorded 41 burglaries last May, rising to 68 in June and peaking at 103 in July.

By August the number had fallen back to 78, and although there were 87 reported burglaries in September, the numbers for October and November were 68 and 69 respectively.

"Last summer - particularly in July - we saw a spike in the number of burglaries committed across Huntingdonshire and Fenland", said Det Sgt Matt Swash, head of the Central Division priority crime team, which investigates burglaries and vehicle crime.

He said he was keen to ensure that residents take sensible precautions to ensure their property is not left vulnerable to an opportunist burglar.

He said: "Typically in summer people leave windows and even doors open when they are not at home. This can be seen as an open invitation by burglars who will take advantage.

"Being a victim of burglary can be very distressing - I would like to cut the number of residents whose home is broken into. To do that residents can take a few precautions.

"Whether you go away on holiday, have a weekend away of if you only leave your home for a few hours, it is important to close your windows. If you have locks, that's even better."

Det Sgt Swash issued his holiday checklist:

Holiday Checklist:

1. Cut the lawn before you go.

2. Arrange for pets to be properly looked after.

3. Register your property on www.immobilise.com. If your property is then stolen and later recovered it would help police identify the rightful owner.

4. Cancel deliveries of milk, newspapers etc, discreetly - don't announce your departure to a shop full of people. Only tell people who need to know you're going away.

5. Make sure your house looks occupied. A closed curtain in the daytime makes it look as if no one is at home. It is worthwhile getting automatic time-switches to switch lights, and a radio on and off in downstairs rooms.

6. Don't leave valuable items like TVs, videos or hi-fi visible through windows.

7. Lock your garage and shed with proper security locks, after putting all your tools safely away so they cannot be used to break into your house.

8. Don't have your home address showing on your luggage for the outward journey.

9. Finally, lock all outside doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set - and that your key holder knows how to operate it.

10. And just before you actually set off, it's worth allowing a quiet couple of minutes on the doorstep to check you've done all you had to do and taken everything you need with you.


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