Campaign to clampdown on burglary

Protect your house

23 October 2012

Protect your House’ and ‘Help us catch the burglar’, those are the messages from Suffolk Police as they launch ‘Operation Drawbridge’.

The Operation, launched today, Tuesday 23rd October, is aimed at reducing the number of house burglaries happening in the county.

The campaign aims to reduce the number of these offences by encouraging homeowners to take simple measures to protect their house, and to increase the amount of crimes ‘solved’ by calling upon members of the public to provide police with crucial information to help bring those responsible to justice.

The launch of the campaign coincides with the end of British Summer time, when the clocks go back this Sunday. As darkness will descend earlier in the day, homeowners are reminded to light up their homes and deter would-be burglars.

Tackling burglary is a key priority for police. Despite latest figures (to the end of September) revealing a 15% drop in this type of crime, the distress and upset it causes victims means that it remains a top concern.

Dedicated teams will be working across the county to stop offenders by carrying out high visibility patrols in affected areas, gathering intelligence on those responsible and visiting homes or shops where the handling of stolen goods is suspected.

Countywide, an average of 158 burglaries occur every month, leaving distressed victims having to cope with the consequences. Traditionally, the number of offences starts to increase in November and December, when winter arrives, so this is the time police are asking communities to take action.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Bernie Morgan said, “It is pleasing to note that burglaries are currently on the decrease, but just one is too many. We are determined to bring these figures down even further and identify those responsible.

“When someone enters your property uninvited and takes your personal possessions it can be extremely traumatic for victims and we want to make sure that wherever possible, we stop would-be burglars from having the chance to carry out this offence.

“Burglars look for quick win opportunities, so often very simple measures can deter them from trying to enter a home. Simply leaving a light on, especially now that the darker nights are upon us, will give the impression someone is at home.

“Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re away for a few days.

“A high proportion of all break-ins are as a result of properties being left insecure so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial. Remember, ‘close it, lock it, and check it.’ Install a burglar alarm and make sure you never leave a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot. Burglars will always look there first.”

Police will be taking serious action against anyone suspected of carrying out a burglary and they want members of the public to help them in catching those responsible.

T/DCI Morgan continues, “We have found that certain individuals who carry out these offences are often responsible for numerous burglaries, so we are using developing crime scene technology to help us in making connections between incidents and bring those responsible to justice.

“Alongside this, we need members of the public to call us as soon as they see any suspicious activity in their area, to let us know if they see anyone hanging around a house they don’t believe should be there, or if they know of anyone selling goods they expect to be stolen.

“My message to burglars is clear, we will not tolerate this offence and we will do all we can to stop you. If you engage in this sought of crime you will be arrested and the likelihood is that you will go to prison. With the help of our communities, we will do this and ensure that we keep our county safe.”

Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East of England Crown Prosecution Service, Paula Abrahams said:

“We are happy to support this campaign which raises awareness about this type of crime and the significant impact it can have on people’s lives and helps to highlight any preventative measures that can be taken to safeguard against this particular offence.

“We are pleased to report that the CPS in Suffolk has a very high rate of successful prosecutions for offences of burglary, some 92% in the Crown Court and the same in the Magistrates Court for 2012 to date. However, there is always more that can be done and we are committed to continuing to improve our success in prosecuting these cases.

“Burglaries affect people’s quality of life long after the crime is committed so by continuing to work with the police and other partner agencies we will endeavour to support strategies aimed at reducing this type of crime and continue to bring offenders to justice.”

If you have any information in relation to burglaries or the handling of stolen goods, call Suffolk Police on 101. In an emergency dial 999, or to report information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Full crime prevention is available at www.suffolk.police.uk

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