Police hone sights on burglars

RESIDENTS living near burglary victims will be visited by police to help them avoid becoming a target.

From this month, officers and neighbourhood watch volunteers across the county will visit people living close to the scenes of break-ins within days of the crime to warn them about what has happened, show them how they can make sure their home is secure and gather information that could help catch offenders.

The tactic has been trialled in Hove where a dramatic reduction in burglaries in the area has followed and is now being rolled out across the force. It is part of Operation Magpie, Sussex Police’s crackdown on burglary across the county.

Inspector Nick Dias said: “Burglars try to maximise the amount they get from their crime while minimising the time they have to find looking for a house to break into and the chance of them being caught.

“By warning local people when there has been a burglary we can not only reduce the chance of them becoming a victim but also force the offender to take more of a risk to commit crime.

“That means the burglar may move to an area they do not know well so they are more likely to leave evidence behind at the scene or be caught in the act.

“Everyone can help us tackle burglary in Sussex by taking every step possible to keep their home secure. Simple measures like double-locking your front door and using window locks have been proven to be effective deterrents against offenders.

“Also, every burglar we take off the streets means fewer victims of burglary, so we would encourage members of the community to contact us if they see anyone acting suspiciously in their area.

“We can all work together to make Sussex a no-go area for burglars.”

For crime prevention advice see www.sussex.police.uk