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Operation Magpie - Distraction Burglary

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Operation Magpie - Distraction Burglary

Postby johnp on 26 Oct 2015, 13:20

Sussex Police launches three-week anti-burglary campaign

Leave a light on and stay secure are key messages from Sussex Police as the force launches a three-week burglary crime prevention campaign today ( Wednesday 21 October.)

The aim is to highlight the devastating impact that burglary can have on victims by communicating messages, tips and even victims' own stories to ensure everyone is doing their bit to help prevent break-ins. The campaign is launching under the banner of Operation Magpie, Sussex Police's initiative to tackle home break-ins, or "burglary dwellings", across the county.

It is hoped that this type of engagement may help reduce burglary at a time of year when traditionally there is an increase in such crime. The campaign is part of a wider commitment from Sussex Police to relentlessly pursue and catch criminals while keeping people safe.

The year to end of September 2014 saw an average of 275 burglary dwellings per month across Sussex, and to end of September 2015 an average of 259 burglary dwellings per month - an average reduction of 16 per month, or minus 5.8 per cent year on year.

The campaign will run across Sussex until 10 November and includes spreading the word through both social and traditional media to promote good news stories and highlight home security advice.

Police Community Support Officers and some of our partners and volunteers, including Neighbourhood Watch, will also be organising targeted activities in hotspots, talking to residents and handing out leaflets.

In addition, Sussex Police is keen to send specific messages to more vulnerable members in the community to ensure they know about other forms of burglary that may affect them, including distraction burglary.

Burglary can take different forms and home security actions will go a long way to reduce the chances of becoming a victim, but being vigilant about who you let into your home is just as important.

Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones, campaign leader for Operation Magpie wrote:We know that there is an increase in home burglaries once the clocks go back and the evenings become darker. Unlit properties can easily suggest that no one is home, and of course many of us are out at this time of year celebrating bonfire activities.

Evidence suggests that campaigns like this have helped to continue a year-on-year reduction in burglaries. It's important to continue the good work and ensure both police and residents are doing all they can to deter criminals. Burglary can have a devastating effect on how people feel in their own homes as well as on local communities and we encourage everyone to share these important messages with family, friends and neighbours and to take steps to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of this type of crime.

Raising awareness of the impact burglary can have through victims' stories is one way we hope people will stop and think and take a few extra home security steps, as we all think it will not happen to us. By deterring potential burglars the aim is that it will reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Prevention is always better than cure.

You can get involved and reduce the chance of your house being targeted by following some simple crime prevention steps. Please look at the home security checklist on http://www.sussex.police.uk/burglary. You will also find victims' stories on the Sussex Police website. Follow Sussex Police on Facebook and Twitter and support with #leavealighton and #staysecure.

You can protect your belongings by registering them on http://www.immobilise.com It's free and takes just a few minutes, and if your valuables are stolen it will allow you to tell the police, your insurer and secondhand traders to assist in recovering your property and catch the thief.

Sussex Police works closely with many secondhand traders following the launch of their "Too good to be true campaign" at the beginning of this year by creating a simple checklist for traders to follow when goods are presented for onward sale.

Sussex Police also launched a recovered property site in August to help reunite stolen items with their rightful owners. You can find this on flickr by searching suspolproperty. You can also stay informed about what's going on in your own locality by signing up for community messaging - again on the Sussex Police website. And you can sign up to your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. Even youngsters can get involved with Junior Neighbourhood Watch across Sussex.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katie Bourne wrote:I'm pleased that the number of burglary dwellings across the county has reduced. The impact of a burglary can have a profound effect on victims and they may often describe it as a robbery or an invasion of their home; terms that actually relate to acts on a person not a property.

This reinforces the deep, personal impact that a burglary has on someone who experiences it. We all have a part to play to help keep Sussex safe and as the nights draw in I urge residents to follow police advice and keep their property secure so that they are not a target for burglars.
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