PCC backs police work with volunteers and residents to try to block burglars in Sussex
During the next two weeks officers across the county are stepping up their activities to encourage crime prevention, track down wanted offenders and cut the number of break-ins in Sussex during the warmer months.
During the period of the campaign last year there were 160 burglaries in the county – 61 in West Sussex, 51 in East Sussex and 48 in Brighton and Hove.
There was at least one burglary every day. The worst day was 10 June when 18 homes were broken into.
As part of National Volunteers’ Week, police cadets, specials and neighbourhood watch co-ordinators across the county are supporting the awareness campaign by distributing a simple checklist that gives advice on how residents and cut the chance of them becoming a burglary victim.
The checklist will help people to identify areas where they could make improvements to their home, such as changing the types of lock on doors and windows and ensuring those at ground level are shut when those rooms are not occupied.
People will also be encouraged to register their valuables for free at www.immobilise.com so that if they are stolen officers can more easily reunite them with their owners.
A number of burglary victims have also agreed to share their stories in the hope that this could prevent other people from being preyed on by thieves. These will able to be viewed on the Sussex Police website by visiting www.sussex.police.uk and clicking on the Operation Magpie logo.
Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones said: “Working with our volunteers in the community to offer the public crime prevention advice is invaluable, as is the support of the public in reporting any suspicious or unusual activity or behaviour they see where they live.
“We have had some very positive outcomes following information from members of the public.
“We recognise that burglaries have a negative impact on people’s lives which is why we are working hard to tackle the problem and continuing to raise public awareness, encouraging residents to become more security conscious.
“You can have appropriate security in place on your home but leaving a window or door unlocked and valuables on show can potentially create the perfect opportunity for a thief.
“A burglar can be in and out of your home in a matter of minutes. Sometimes it may not be a question of changing the security you have but changing your routine to be more vigilant in ensuring your home is secure.”
John Wright, the chairman of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, said: “We are proud to be supporting Sussex Police. Burglary is something that many people dread, and in Sussex we have well over 100,000 members, who are all keen to help keep our homes and streets safe.
“All of our members are volunteers, who freely give up their time to help fight crime. By just keeping their eyes and ears open, and generally being vigilant, they can spot unusual things happening around them and promptly call the police if needed. These eyes and ears, and the information they provide, enables the police to respond quickly and effectively to any suspicious activity.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has welcomed the police campaign.
She said: “We all have a part to play to help keep Sussex safe and I urge residents to follow police advice and keep their property secure so that they are not a target for burglars.
“I’d also like to recognise the ongoing work of volunteers and partners who continue to support the local neighbourhood police teams by working with residents to highlight the risks and provide guidance around how to keep our homes and personal property secure. Together we can beat burglary in Sussex.”
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.
Recent successes for the Magpie team include:
– the jailing of David Jones (pictured) for a burglary in Toll Lane, Bodle Street Green, in October last year. The 32-year-old was disturbed by a neighbour after breaking into the home and fled leaving his torch behind with his DNA on it.
Jones, of Tedder Terrace, Hastings, was jailed for three years when he appeared at Hove Crown Court.
– the charging of Adam Clarke, 39, with burglaries in St George’s Terrace, Ship Street and Marine Parade in Brighton. Clarke, of Langridge Drive, Portslade, was remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 11 June.
– the charging of Alan Cogan, 44, with a burglary in Friday Street, Eastbourne. Cogan, of The Diplocks, Hailsham, was released on bail to appear at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 17 June.
– the charging of a 17-year-old boy from Eastbourne with three burglaries in Vicarage Drive, Eastbourne. He was released on bail to appear at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on 7 July.
– the charging of Stephen Moorhouse, 28, with robbery and conspiracy to burgle eight homes in West Chiltington, Midhurst, Lavant, Rudgwick, Loxwood and Chichester, between 9 January and 14 January. The offences were part of Operation Smart, a linked series of more than 200 burglaries across the south east.
Moorhouse, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 5 June.
– the charging of Vladimiras Bajukovas, 24, Eimantas Kricenas, 22, and Darius Kalcinskis, 22, with a burglary in Poplar Way, Midhurst on 15 May. The men, all of Arnold Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, were remanded in custody to appear at Chichester Crown Court on 22 July.
– the charging of Daniel Whiting, 21, with a burglary in The Square, Barnham, on 26 April. Whiting, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody to appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 5 June.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents can also being encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners – and so the offenders can be prosecuted.