Police are launching a new campaign to tackle house burglary in Northamptonshire.
Since April 1, there have been 167 fewer burglaries reported compared with the same period last year – a fall of 8.5 per cent (1,789 crimes compared with 1,956).
However, this time of year often sees a rise in the number of burglaries committed. Officers are determined to keep up the pressure on criminals and are encouraging the public to help.
The campaign aims to encourage people to take simple steps to improve their home security, starting with basics of locking doors and windows.
Most burglars are opportunists and break into homes that are easy targets. In nearly a third of all house burglaries in the past 12 months, thieves have got into the property through an unlocked door or an open window.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster believes the support of the public is essential in helping to reduce crime, and taking basic home security measures is one way of doing this.
He said: “Reminding people to lock up may seem unnecessary but, in the past year, nearly one in three homes have been burgled because a door has been left unlocked or a window open.
“We can’t be absolutely sure the burglary wouldn’t have happened anyway but it would have certainly made it more difficult, and it’s very likely the opportunist burglar would simply move on to see if he could find an easier target.
“Burglary is an invasive and upsetting crime and if it helps reduce the number of people who become victims by simply encouraging them to make sure they lock up properly, we’ll carrying on giving out these messages.
“However, we know a lot of burglaries happen even when doors and window are secure. There are many ways to make your home less attractive to burglars and, over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing lots of crime prevention advice to help people better protect their home and property.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds added: “Reducing burglary and other acquisitive crime is a priority in my crime and policing plan and officers have been working hard to target some of our most prolific burglars, with several successful convictions.
“But there is still more we can achieve and public support is crucial. As well as working together to make sure people’s homes and property are as safe and secure as possible, we need people to feel confident about reporting crime to us and telling us what they know about anyone involved in crime.”
The campaign, Operation Lock It, is being launched next week with a ‘week of action’. Officers will be targeting known burglars, carrying out increased patrols in areas where burglaries are more likely to happen and giving out crime prevention advice.
They will also be encouraging anyone with information about crime or criminals to report it – either by calling police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, where information can be reported anonymously.