Police public consultations on residential burglaries heralded a success

The recent public consultations held in Swindon as part of Wiltshire Police’s continued crackdown on burglaries across the town have been heralded a success.

The first six consultations held in the past week have been met with positive feedback from the members of the public who attended.

PC Rachel Barnett, North Swindon Community Policing Team, said:  “Lots of people attended the first handful of consultations – chatting to our officers about a wide range of local issues which, of course, included burglaries as well as a range of other concerns from speeding drivers to anti-social behaviour.

“It was great to meet so many people who are interested in helping us to help them as well as being able to give out advice and reassurance.”

The consultations will continue to run throughout the summer at a number of locations, the next one is: Saturday 27 May 2017  – 11.30am – 12.30pm – Wyevale Garden Centre, Stratton, Swindon.

PC Rachel Barnett added: “There has been a recent increase in burglary offences in North Swindon and we are committed to finding the offenders.

“This is not something we can do on our own and we therefore urge the local community to come along to the consultations and speak to us.

“Any information that people have, as insignificant as you think it may be, could be vital to us in our efforts to find these offenders and protect the public.”

Detective Superintendent, Deb Smith, Head of Crime at Wiltshire Police, said: “It is important for everyone to remain vigilant, follow our prevention messages and report anything suspicious to us.

“Wiltshire Police has seen an increase in burglaries and we are focusing on how we respond to these crimes appropriately; making sure we deploy the right resources, identifying links between burglaries – where the same suspect or groups of suspects may be involved – and ensuring that all investigative lines of enquiry are followed.

“The local community are a vital resource for Wiltshire Police in tackling burglary offences in the area. The more engagement and support we give each other, the better chance we have of catching the offenders.”

To improve the security in and around your home we are asking householders to remember the following advice:

• Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when just in the garden. And make sure you have approved locks or bolts to all doors and windows
• Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like in a plant pot or letter box- a thief knows all the hiding places
• Keep all keys, purses and wallets out of sight and away from the letterbox
• Consider installing a burglar alarm, and only use a company that is registered or certified with the NSI or the SSIAB
• Do not open the door to anyone you don’t know or are not expecting. Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window
• Make sure that you have up to date contents insurance
• Register all serial numbers from electrical items, tools and garden equipment with Immobilise.com the free national property register. Mark items without serial numbers with an artificial DNA property marker such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA
• Do not keep large amounts of cash at home- it is much safer in a bank or building society
• Trim back any plants and hedges at the front of your property to no higher than one metre to remove hiding places
• Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel
• Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when you are not at home
• Take photographs of all jewellery including hallmarks and keep them safe. Also consider using an artificial DNA property marker on jewellery or other valuable items
• Make sure any bolts are low enough so they cannot be opened by reaching over the top of the gate