Covert patrols to tackle spike in Leighton burglaries

Burglary
Burglary

Covert police officers have been patrolling the streets of Leighton Buzzard for 24 hours a day over recent weeks.

Beds Police says it is taking burglary in the town extremely seriously following a spike in offences. The force’s intelligence department identified the rise in dwelling burglaries, resulting in the extra patrols.

The initiative has resulted in nine arrests - seven boys and two men – and several warrants conducted on properties.

Three people have been charged, four are currently on police bail, one was dealt with by a neighbouring force, and one was released with no further action.

Overt community police officers and PCSOs are continuing visible patrols in the town to assist with public reassurance.

Residents are encouraged to speak to police and report any suspicious activity they see, as well as take advantage of helpful home security and personal safety advice.

Det Insp Duncan Young, from the force intelligence department, said: “Intelligence is an invaluable tool in the fight against crime and it is vital that we continue to work with the public to gather a picture of offending in the county.

“Those with information about crime or suspicious activity are reminded that they can report useful details using the police non-emergency number 101, anonymously through Crimestoppers, or through their local Neighbourhood Watch.

“There is a lot we can do behind the scenes to identify offenders, bring them to justice, and ultimately help keep people safe.”

Dwelling burglary across Bedfordshire is down by26.4% in the financial year to date compared with the same period in 2014.

Additionally, the rate of solved crime has increased by 4.1 per cent over the same period.

A spokesman said: “The force continues to act on crime spikes when they occur and is currently developing a new, efficient and innovative forcewide plan, dedicated to burglary prevention across the county which will be launched very soon. “

Have you been affected by burglary? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk and tell us your story.

Crime prevention advice

• Use your lights at home – keep them on a timer when you are out so it looks like someone is home

• Make sure all doors on your house and vehicle are securely locked at all times. If you have a UPVC door at home, make sure it is double locked

• Keep all valuables and keys safely out of sight from windows, both in your home and car

• Never leave garages or sheds unlocked – not only can valuable tools be appealing to thieves, they can also be used to force entry to your home

• Don’t hide your keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place a would-be offender will look

• Ask a friend to keep an eye on your house when you go away, and do the same for neighbours by remaining alert to suspicious activity in your street

• If you spot someone behaving suspiciously, contact police immediately

• Don’t forget to security mark your property and register it on www.immobilise.com