Police appeal for local communities to be their eyes and ears after over 50 burglaries are linked
Detectives are appealing to local communities to help them put an end to a series of more than 50 burglaries across west Suffolk.
Operation Hepworth was launched by Suffolk Constabulary in response to the break-ins, which currently number 56, dating back to October 2018. It is believed these may also be linked to further crimes across East Anglia.
The burglaries have predominantly taken place in Newmarket, Mildenhall, Haverhill and surrounding areas and are being linked by police due to the similarities in their nature.
The typical features of these break-ins is that they usually occur between 5pm in the afternoon and 9pm in the evening, involve forced entry to the property and with jewellery and cash the main target for the criminals.
Although officers are following a number of leads in pursuit of the burglars, police are appealing for local communities to be on the look-out for any suspicious behaviour in their neighbourhoods and not to disregard persons or vehicles that appear unusual or out of place.
As the majority of the burglaries in this series involve houses being entered by force rather than because of insecurities, detectives are asking people to be their ‘eyes and ears’ and help catch those responsible for these crimes. This places an extra emphasis on the importance of community intelligence in providing crucial leads to help apprehend the offenders.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes are a vital element of the local intelligence picture, and residents are encouraged to join their local scheme if one exists, or set one up if their village or community does not have one. More information can be found on the Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Association website here: http://www.suffolknwa.co.uk/
Detective Inspector Tam Burgess, of West CID in Bury St Edmunds, said: “This is an alarming amount of burglaries, causing misery and distress to a vast number of individuals and families across the county.
“We are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry in relation to these burglaries, but the vital key to catching these criminals could be provided by a member of the public calling us with information about something they have seen and believe to be suspicious.
“My direct appeal to local communities is to not just ignore something you see or hear that seems out of place. This could include a suspicious vehicle outside your neighbour’s house or hearing the sound of glass smashing nearby.
“Note down the car registration number or description of any suspicious persons you may have seen and report it to us if you believe it to be unusual. These criminals may present themselves as genuine callers, so if their behaviour seems odd then let us know.
“I would also urge people to get involved with Neighbourhood Watch as this is a vital resource for preventing crime and helps to foster community relations. The presence of Neighbourhood Watch signs are known to act as a deterrent to criminals, as they are a strong warning that they are entering an area where people look out for one another.”
Anyone who believes they are witnessing a crime in progress should call 999 immediately. Members of the public with information that is not a crime in progress are asked to either email [email protected] or call West CID on 101.
Alternatively contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via the online reporting form on their website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Further home security advice can be found on our website: www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/homesecurity_0.pdf
Members of the public can also sign-up to the Police Connect messaging service, which will provide them with direct updates by phone or email about crime in their area. Further information can be found here: www.suffolk.police.uk/services/police-connect