Don't make life easy for thieves

Vigilance and a lack of complacency when it comes to home security are key to preventing burglaries, a leading police officer has said.

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Morgan was launching a national week of focus on action against burglary and handling stolen goods, at a time when Forces are increasing crime prevention activity in the run up to the festive period.

The States of Jersey Police are supporting the campaign in line with its own successful Operation Hornet initiative which has seen burglaries in Jersey drop by 32% this year. (Jan – end Oct 2013 vs same period in 2012)

That’s on top of the 22% drop that was seen in 2012 compared to the year before.

ACC Morgan, the ACPO lead for this type of crime, also had a warning for those who handle stolen goods, saying that police will be on the lookout for buying and selling of stolen items and those committing an offence will face prosecution.

He said: “At this time of year burglars may attempt to take advantage of the darker nights, hoping to steal the high value goods householders may buy in the run up to Christmas. I am asking people to take steps to ensure they have the right protection on doors and windows, invest in timer switches if they are going to be away and to ensure they have plans in place to stop mail visibly piling up or deliveries being left outside.

“These seemingly simple measures really do go a long way towards ensuring that your house is a hostile environment for burglars.”

States of Jersey Police Inspector Steve Langford, who has responsibility for Operation Hornet, said: “Burglary is a continual priority for police and we will take strong action to investigate and arrest criminals.

“Burglary exists as a crime because there is a market for the goods that are taken. Combating the handling of stolen goods goes hand-in-hand with preventing burglary. All retailers should be particularly vigilant when it comes to taking in items and should contact their local police force immediately they notice suspicious behaviour on the part of a client or suspect an item of being stolen.

“Similarly, people should be wary of anyone selling cut-price goods in pubs or on the streets. It may be tempting to snap up a quick bargain, but if that item is stolen, you are committing an offence and are liable for prosecution.”

Over the next few days as part of ACPOs In Focus – Burglary and Handling Stolen Goods week, police forces will be highlighting burglary and the market in stolen goods for communities.

It will also be an opportunity to encourage the public to have a discussion with police about what they can do to help prevent burglaries and discourage the market in stolen goods in their area.

ACC Morgan will be conducting a Twitter Q&A on November 19 between 12 and 1pm to answer any questions the public may have about burglary, stolen goods and how they can play their part in keeping their home secure.


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