Burglary operation launched in South Cambs
POLICE have launched an operation following more than 100 burglaries in rural South Cambs in the past four months.
Operation Twist will focus on tackling burglaries in rural villages in the districts of South Cambs and Huntingdonshire.
Since November there have been 115 burglaries in Huntingdonshire and 113 in South Cambs. Detectives believe they are part of a linked series with the offenders potentially travelling in from outside the county.
Areas that have been targeted include Whittlesford and Balsham in the Reporter area.
Det Insp Jon McAdam, who is leading the operation, said: “Over the past four months we have noticed an increase in burglaries in rural villages in Huntingdonshire and South Cambs which we believe is part of a linked series.
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“Operation Twist will see increase patrols in rural villages, as well as investigative and forensic work to target those responsible.
“Releasing these figures is not about scaring people, as in reality people living in Huntingdonshire and South Cambs are less than one per cent likely to become a victim of burglary. In fact, there has been an average of one burglary a day across Huntingdonshire and South Cambs. While that sounds a lot, it is worth bearing in mind the population in Huntingdonshire is 167,300 and there are more than 69,000 homes across the area.
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“And in South Cambs the population is 143,600 and there are more than 59,000 homes across the area.
“However, it is important that we raise awareness of this series as the public play a vital part in helping us to prevent further offences as well as catching those responsible.”
Although a large number of offences have taken place while people have been away detectives believe offenders are targeting homes during the day, often breaking in through the rear of the property.
It is likely because of the sporadic nature of the offences that the offenders are travelling across Huntingdonshire, South Cambs and potentially other parts of Cambridgeshire targeting homes.
Det Insp McAdam added: “We are working closely with crime teams across the county as well as other forces to share information about these offences.
“It’s important people remain alert to activity in their neighbourhood, reporting anything out of the ordinary or suspicious to police.
“By taking simple preventative measure people can further reduce the risk of becoming a victim.”
To reduce the risk of being a victim:
• It’s important to make your home look lived in and ask neighbours to keep an eye on it when you are not in. Consider installing light timers. Burglars will target homes in darkness as there is less of a risk of being spotted. If the bins are due to be collected, ask your neighbours to move them on and off your drive for you.
• Report unusual activity such as people knocking at your door. If you believe someone knocking at your door could be a burglar then contact police immediately. This type of information can be used to gain a better understanding of how criminals are operating in your area.
• Keep a note of any unusual vehicles parking in your area and pass information onto the police.
Alarms: Install an alarm - even an empty box on the side of your home can be enough to put off a burglar.
Dogs: A `beware of the dog’ sign can be enough to put off an intruder, regardless of whether a dog is present.
Lock up your shed: Offenders do not like carrying break-in tools as they may be searched en-route to a burglary. They often raid sheds to get their hands on tools to burgle.
Strong communities are also a deterrent for burglars: Make friends with your neighbours or join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.