Residents in Leighton Buzzard are encouraging people to be extra vigilant following a rise in the number of burglaries on the Sandhills estate.
One of the residents visited his neighbours, collecting signatures of those concerned about crime, in the hope of highlighting the recent increase in the number of burglaries and attempted burglaries on the area.
He said: “We had CCTV installed at our house about two years ago, and while the guy was doing it his ladders were stolen, we had it on CCTV, at one point one of the girls looked at the camera, you can see her face.
“We called the police and they came, I gave them the USB with the CCTV on and she said, they look under 16, there is not a lot we can do.
“I said ‘what kind of message is that sending to people?’ I think the police need to do more to stop this, there needs to be a bigger police presence in the town.
“There are about 4000 new homes here, and the police are not able to cope with it.”
Another person said: “I am a resident on the Sandhills estate in Leighton Buzzard, and the current spate of break ins and attempted burglaries in our area is on the increase.”
A neighbour added: “We haven’t been targeted ourselves but I know there has been an increase in the number of burglaries in the area.
“The police can’t be here all the time, and they do have less officers, people need to be aware of what is happening and be extra vigilant.”
Another resident said: “No doubt we will be told that the police have no resources to deal with the ongoing burglaries and break ins.
“Myself and my wife thankfully up until now have not been targeted, but neighbours and friends nearby have been targets for the culprits.
“Safety is a concern, one recent incident incited residents to take to the streets armed, looking for the perpetrators.”
Another woman from the area added: “I think there needs to be more patrols around Sandhills!
“Particularly in the evenings, just having a police presence will deter thieves from trying it. I feel like the houses are targeted and probably they are watching those houses for days or weeks beforehand.”
Sergeant Liam Mitchell said: “During early March we did become aware of a spike in burglary offending in the Sandhills estate.
“In response we have increased patrols, which are continuing, and held an Operation Vision engagement event on Wednesday 6 March to help reassure residents and provide preventative advice.’
“Burglary is a priority for Bedfordshire Police and where we identify spikes or hotspots we will carry out targeted patrols via Operation Maze, as well as investigate key offending patterns.
“We take all offences reported to us seriously and would encourage anyone with any information about burglary to report it to police via 101, so that we can gather intelligence and find those responsible. People can also familiarise themselves with crime prevention advice via our website.”