North Herts detective writes to 500 people living in burglary hotspots
PUBLISHED: 12:02 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 13 December 2017
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A detective inspector for Herts police has written to 500 people at risk of burglary in Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston to warn them about burglary risks and give them crime prevention advice.
The 500 people who received the letters live in current ‘hotspot’ burglary areas and locations where addresses were targeted last Christmas.
Det Insp Mike Keane said: “I do not wish to alarm people and would like to reassure local residents that myself and North Herts’ Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley are doing all we can to use all available resources to tackle this seasonal increase in burglaries, identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
“Offences can happen during the daytime and evenings when occupants are not at home. Entry to properties has been gained via both front and rear doors. Last year, on occasions, considerable damage was caused – so offenders were not covert in their actions. I also believe some offenders spend time in the area prior to offences being committed, often taking time to research the streets and levels of activity.”
DI Keane says the force will be mounting extra patrols over the Christmas period, but is also urging people to be more vigilant.
He said: “You are best placed to know when something looks out of place in your neighbourhood.
“If you suspect a person is in your neighbourhood to commit a crime, or you see a vehicle in suspicious circumstances, please don’t hesitate to contact us so officers can attend and determine whether the person or vehicle is there lawfully.”
The force has also issued general advice to help people secure their homes – including leaving TVs, radios and lights on timer switches to give your home a ‘lived-in’ feel, ensuring doors are double locked at all times, keeping windows closed and locked, installing a door bell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm, keeping keys and valuables secure and out of sight, and ensuring boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. They also advise keeping tools and ladders in a locked shed.
You can join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch for alerts and advice here.
If you see anything suspicious or believe something needs reporting, call police on 101. Call 999 if a crime is in progress.