Spate of burglaries leads to warning from police


- Credit: Archant

POLICE have urged residents to be extra vigilant following a spate of burglaries across Uttlesford.

Twenty four houses were broken into between May 2 and June 1 and various items stolen, including electrical goods, jewellery and cash.

Officers said in most cases suspects got into homes by forcing rear patio doors or windows.

Uttlesford’s crime reduction advisor, Peter Caulfield, said although Uttlesford has one of the lowest crime rates in the county, residents could not afford to be complacent.

In an attempt to deter burglars he said residents should:

• Leave a light on or music playing while a house is unoccupied;

• Install security lighting;

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• Use a gate to cut off easy access to the side or rear of the house;

• Lock away tools at the premises and shed to prevent their use into getting into properties;

• Use good quality looks on doors and windows. Always double lock patio doors;

• Keep valuable Items, such as iPads, phones and laptops out of sight.

“Deny him these, and the householder is shifting the risk back onto the criminal and that will probably make him look elsewhere,” Mr Caulfield explained.

Uttlesford Inspector Colin Cox said the figures were “very disappointing” and “should serve as a warning that criminals are active in our area and are not bound by any county border”.

He added: “The district has seen an increase of 36 burglaries recorded for the first six months of 2013 compared to that of 2012.

“Many of our crimes are committed by criminals traveling into the Uttlesford area. Local officers are working very hard in order to target these individuals.”

Police are urging residents to play their part and continue to report any incidents of people seen acting suspiciously around houses.

Residents are also asked to mark property and take photographs of valuable items of jewellery. This means if items are stolen and subsequently recovered by police, owners can be traced.

Police said there had been several occasions in the last couple of months where local neighbourhood officers had seized property believed to be stolen, but were unable to link it to an offence or owner.

In these circumstances property is returned from where it was seized.

The Uttlesford Neighbourhood Policing Team will be carrying out a property marking surgery at the Youth Centre at Newport Recreation Ground on Saturday June 8 between 2pm and 4pm.