Essex police: Uttlesford burglary rate down

HOUSE burglaries across Uttlesford have decreased by over 15 per cent according to the latest figures released by Essex Police.

Comparing May to July with the same period last year, burglaries are down, but officers did say that some individual villages have suffered a higher than usual rate.

Uttlesford crime reduction officer Peter Caulfield said police and neighbourhood watch teams want residents to be more vigilant as often the criminals will be outsiders and so should stand out in a small community.

“Burglaries in villages are seldom carried out by local criminals any more,” he said. “The burglars are opportunists who will travel many miles to find suitable targets.

“If you see an unfamiliar vehicle parked in your street, or an unfamiliar person on someone’s driveway, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are up to no good.

“But curiosity should be aroused and it would be useful if people made a note of what they have seen, including vehicle registration numbers.

“Burglars don’t like being noticed and if they become aware of interest they will usually move on.”

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Mr Caulfield also sees nothing wrong with villagers politely challenging strangers.

“It doesn’t have to be confrontational in any way,” he said. “Just a polite enquiry to see if they are lost, or need help locating someone.

“If they are up to no good, they will more than likely make their excuses and leave the area.”

Uttlesford Neighbourhood Watch will be distributing vigilance reminder posters to village parish councils very soon, and Essex police say it is time that villagers closed ranks and worked together as a community to help to stamp out rural crime.

If your village does not currently benefit from a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, contact Mr Caulfield on 01376 556233 for details on setting one up.

If you have any information about “travelling burglars” in Uttlesford, please contact officers at Saffron Walden or Dunmow on 0300 3334444, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.