WISBECH: House burglary crackdown launched after near-75 per cent rise in crimes

PUBLISHED: 16:47 13 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:10 02 June 2010

A NEW crackdown on house burglaries has been launched by police, after a rise of almost 75 per cent in crimes in the last quarter compared to 12 months ago. Operation Luton will see police tackling the crime on several fronts – including extra patrols, st

A NEW crackdown on house burglaries has been launched by police, after a rise of almost 75 per cent in crimes in the last quarter compared to 12 months ago.

Operation Luton will see police tackling the crime on several fronts - including extra patrols, stop and searching in hotspot areas, intelligence gathering and paying regular visits to those suspected of being involved in burglary.

Police will also work with Fenland District Council and landlords to enhance security at houses of multiple occupation in the town.

Between April and June this year there were 73 reported house burglaries in Wisbech, compared to 42 in the same period 12 months ago - an increase of 73.8 per cent.

Using intelligence, officers have identified 20 people with suspected links to burglary. Those identified will receive regular visits from detectives and uniformed officers in coming months and will be handed a letter at the first meeting.

The letter, from Chief Insp Russell Waterston who is leading the operation, will highlight the burglary crackdown and warn the recipient they will be arrested if they commit further offences.

Not all of the suspects are believed to be active burglars. Some may have previous convictions or, through intelligence, been linked to past offences or identified as potential offenders.

The aim of the letter will be to stop offending and prevent people from entering, or returning to, a life of crime.

Chief Insp Waterston said: "This operation will invest time and resources into tackling this growing problem by gathering intelligence and bringing those responsible to justice.

"I would urge residents to give us any information they may have from the community about who is responsible or anyone who is known for handling stolen goods."

The operation follows on from the success of Operation Alert, a similar operation to target burglary in Peterborough.

Residents are also urged to play their part by ensuring their homes are secure and reporting any suspicious activity.

Homeowners are urged to:

Keep doors and windows closed and locked or in a ventilated but locked position, even when you are inside the house.

Remove keys from window and door locks, but keep them in a familiar and safe place where all members of the family know where to find them in the event of an emergency.

Never leave items such as keys, bags and money on show through a window, as these can prove a temptation for an opportunist burglar.

Consider the position of key racks or shelves next to a door and ensure that they cannot be reached through the letter box.

Use timer switches to turn on lights and radios when you are going to be away from your house at dusk.

Consider the use of lights at the front and rear of your home that activate when someone approaches.

Consider the use of bolts and padlocks on side gates. Place the bolts at the top, middle and bottom of the gate, as just a top bolt might be easy to reach and open.

Consider chaining together all high-value items stored in outbuildings, as this will make it harder for them to be removed. Also, consider the use of a wireless alarm or link your shed or garage into an existing home intruder alarm system.

Consider property marking your valuable and sentimental personal possessions with liquid DNA kits such as Smartwater, SelectaDNA or with an engraving kit for items such as tools and cycles.

A visible intruder alarm box can prove to be one of the biggest deterrents to an opportunist burglar, so consider installing a DIY or supplier-installed system.

For more information on how to secure your home and property log on to the Home Office website - www.homeoffice.gov.uk - which also has a three-minute test that will score your level of protection and offer appropriate advice.

Alternatively, log on to the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website - www.cambs.police.uk or the Crime Reduction Website - www.crimereduction.gov.uk.


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