Call to keep homes safe from burglary as clocks go back
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Bedfordshire Police has encouraged people to take extra care to protect their homes from burglaries as the clocks go back and help continue the fall in burglary numbers across the county.
New figures released by the force, ahead of the clocks going back this weekend, show the number of reported burglaries across Bedfordshire is down by more than a third over the past two years.
The latest figures show Bedfordshire Police also has the third highest solved rate for residential burglary of every police force in the country.
The force has a dedicated Operation Maze burglary squad, while it has been sending forensic officers to every residential burglary for a number of years now in order to gather valuable evidence.
Detective Superintendent William Hodgkinson, head of the force’s crime command, said: “Our focus on burglary is unrelenting and I am immensely proud of the fantastic results Operation Maze has achieved over several years now.
“We are not complacent though and will be pursuing the opportunistic thieves and criminal networks which make their living through burglary crime, and getting them off the streets in the run up to Christmas.
“With the clocks going back this weekend, the darker nights may give burglars an opportunity to operate under the cover of darkness and attempt to break into your home.
“There are some simple steps you can take to keep your home safe at this time of the year, and please come forward and report it to us if you are victim.
“We are on your side, we have the honour to serve our community and the county in which we live, and will do all we can to catch the criminals responsible.”
The force has recorded an average of 116 residential burglaries a month this financial year, compared to 181 and 160 burglaries in the previous two years respectively.
Over the past year the force has also increased its solved rate for residential burglaries by around a third.
Earlier this month national policy was changed to ensure police forces sent an officer to every burglary.
This has already been the case in Bedfordshire for several years, with the policy of sending a scenes of crime officer to every reported incident helping detectives with their investigation.
There are some key things you can to do to keep your home secure this autumn:
Make your home look as if it is occupied by locking doors
Never leave your keys and valuables within view or reach of windows, letterboxes or cat-flaps
Always lock your front door from inside – especially UPVC front doors that have handles, as they are often left unlocked when people are in their house
Close, and ideally lock, all windows when you’re not in the room – around one in four burglaries still happen because doors have been left unlocked or windows left open
As the darker nights approach, always put garden tools and DIY equipment away in your shed, storage cupboard or garage, and ensure they’re securely locked up
Check your outside lighting is in good working order and replace any faulty equipment. It’s also worth checking the batteries in torches and smoke alarms
If you want to report a burglary or have any information about an offender, report it via our online reporting tool.