There were almost 100 fewer burglaries in hotspot areas across Bedfordshire as the clocks went back, as police continue to drive down burglary rates across the county.
The dramatic drop in the number of break-ins in Bedfordshire coincides with the force doubling its solved rate for burglaries in November compared to the average so far this year.
We recently wrote to almost 40,000 households in areas identified as having higher rates of burglary.
These letters contained crime prevention advice to coincide with the clocks going back, which can historically see a rise in burglary offences as the nights get darker earlier.
Figures show there were 93 fewer residential burglaries in these areas throughout October and November compared to the same two months last year.
Overall, on average there have been around 34 fewer residential burglaries every month across Bedfordshire in 2021 compared to last year.
Already this month three people have been charged in connection to 14 burglaries across the county.
Detective Superintendent William Hodgkinson said: “We are determined to tackle burglary from every angle.
“We are investing in our fantastic Operation Maze burglary squad and want to double the number of detectives working in that unit next year.
“But we are also being creative in how we get the word out to our communities to make themselves a hostile target for opportunistic thieves.
“There are some simple steps you can take to keep your home safe. Plus, if you have any information, please report it – all reports go into our intelligence systems, help us build the full picture of burglary across the county and take action.”
There are some key things you can do to protect your home from being burgled, including:
Make your house look lived-in – burglars won’t be tempted by a full house. If you are out during the night, keep your lights on a timer and consider keeping your radio playing so it seems like someone is home.
Lock up when you leave – make sure all doors and windows on your house, vehicle and garages or sheds are securely locked at all times. Not only can valuable tools be appealing to burglars, they can also be used to force entry to a home. If you have a PVC-U or multi-lock door, ensure that you lift up the handle and turn and remove the key.
Keep valuables out of sight – keys, wallets, mobile phones and laptops left in view can entice opportunist thieves. Try to keep them hidden in a safe place or store them out of view of windows.
Don’t give crooks an easy entry – never leave keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot. It’s the first place a would-be offender would look.
Look out for neighbours – ask a friend to keep an eye on your house if you go away, and do the same for neighbours. Stay alert to suspicious activity on your street. Consider joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area.
Report incidents – visit our online reporting centre or call 101 to report an incident, or 999 if a crime is in progress. You can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Complete the home security checklist – take a few minutes to review the security in your home. Most domestic security issues can be improved quickly and cheaply, and will put your mind at rest. The checklist is available to view, download and complete via the burglary section on our website.