During the summer months there is an annual rise in the number of robberies and burglaries that take place across the country.
This rise is due to the warmer weather and lighter evenings which results in people staying out longer and drinking more, increasing their chances of becoming a victim of robbery. The warmer weather also means that people are not securing their doors and windows leaving them vulnerable to burglars.
In response to this national rise, Swindon police are conducting an operation during June and July with the purpose of preventing robbery and burglary offences from taking place.
An element of this campaign is to provide the public with the information they need to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime. With this in mind, Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators will be ensuring that householders are provided with personal safety and security advice over the summer months.
Officers will also be targeting Swindon town centre on Friday and Saturday nights in order to advise pub/club goers on how they can travel home safely and measures they should take in order to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of robbery.
Another proactive initiative will include visits to prolific offenders in respect of robbery and burglary in order to send a clear message that offences of this nature will not be tolerated and anyone engaging in these crimes should expect to face the full force of the law.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Mark Garrett, lead officer for the operation, said: “The rise in the number of robberies and burglaries over the summer is a national phenomenon that is not exclusive to Swindon or Wiltshire as a whole.
Swindon remains a safe place in which to live and work, nevertheless, the impact of robbery and burglary on victims should not be underestimated and we have therefore designed this operation with the aim of reducing the number of these offences across the county.
As part of our activities we are using the full range of powers available to us to engage with known, local offenders to facilitate intervention, disruption and appropriate action where it is required.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their continued assistance and to urge them to adhere to the security advice provided by officers, which will help to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime. I also ask that if they see or hear anything suspicious that they contact police immediately.”
Seasonal Warning to Householders – Burglary
Summer is on its way and now that it is warmer, people perhaps need to be reminded about the dangers of leaving the windows and doors of their homes insecure when they go out.
· Every year at about this time, there is an increase in the number of burglaries reported in the Borough. Already, there have been a number of ‘walk in’ burglaries to private residencies where the thieves took advantage of insecurities to enter homes and steal property.
· Please, please make sure that when you go out, all doors and windows are locked tight and even when you are home, opportunities are not provided for thieves and burglars. Even a small casement window left open can provide a thief with a quick and simple way into a house.
· Please don’t be tempted to leave anything unlatched, even during a short absence from the home. It may mean that the house gets stuffy and hot, but that’s better than coming home to find that you are a victim of burglary.
· Even when you are at home, lying out in the back garden soaking up the sun, please make sure that the front of the house is secure. While you are dozing at the back or doing some work in the garden, anyone can take advantage of an open or unlocked door or window at the front to quickly nip in and help themselves to your valuables and be gone without you knowing anything about it.
· Register your property for FREE via www.immobilise.com
So just take a few minutes to think security. Use your locks, close your windows and don’t let a criminal ruin your summer.
Personal Safety Advice – Know the facts
In our area, reported incidents of robbery (mugging), pick-pocketing and purse snatching are fortunately infrequent. Knowing how and where criminals who commit these crimes operate may keep you safe.
Thieves frequently operate:
· At cash machines
· In car parks
· Around bus stations
· During the hours of darkness in secluded areas – looking for drunken victims coming home from the pub
Be aware and keep your possessions safe:
· Be discreet with your belongings; displaying jewellery, IPods, mobile phones and cameras, could attract the attention of criminals.
· Don’t flash your cash
Reduce the risk of mobile phone theft by following these simple tips:
· Don’t leave your phone on tables in pubs or restaurants.
· Don’t walk and text at the same time, you will be less aware of what is happening around you.
· Keep calls in public places as brief as possible, the longer you talk, the more likely you are to be spotted by a potential thief.
Looks good enough to grab:
Be aware of chain-snatch thieves and keep your jewellery out of sight
Snatch robberies can involve violence or theft. The chance that this will ever happen to you is quite small, but you should be aware of what you can do to keep yourself and your property safe:
· Make sure your jewellery is not visible.
· Plan your journey in advance.
· Walk with friends – one of whom should stay sober.
· Avoid dark or deserted areas late at night.
· Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to what’s going on around you.
Be assured that Swindon is a safe place to live and that by taking simple steps you can protect both your home and possessions.
Further crime prevention advice is available from www.wiltshire.police.uk
Anyone with information in relation to the incidents described above is asked to contact police on 0845 408 7000 or crime stoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously if they wish.