Burglary awareness campaign launched by Cambs police

Cambridgeshire Police Force is launching a new county-wide campaign to address the rising number of burglaries in the area.

The campaign, called Operation Aware, plans to target offenders and raise awareness for residents and will see extra activities taking place throughout Cambridgeshire on top of normal policing. These activities include warrants carried out to arrest suspects as well as “we’re watching you” visits made to others suspected of being involved in burglaries.

Visits will be made to residents in areas most affected by burglary to encourage homeowners to register and mark property, with officers also working alongside partners to promote awareness of crime reduction tactics and prevent handling of stolen goods.

In Cambridge and surrounding areas, burglary has increased by 34 per cent in the past year, with 2,869 household burglaries taking place compared to 2,142 for the same period the previous year.

Ian Simmons, Detective Chief Inspector, commented: “Burglary has been a force priority for some time but Operation Aware and the day of action are about ensuring we are doing everything we can to catch those responsible for offences in Cambridgeshire and making it as hard as possible for those at large.

“Burglaries are not just about the things stolen but the devastating impact that someone invading your home can have. It is something that leaves victims feeling very vulnerable over a protracted period of time.

“We are committed to protecting people from this distress and every burglar we can take off the streets reduces the risk of there being further victims.”

DCI Simmons added that detectives also needed the public’s help and urged residents to take “one more step” to make their homes more burglar-proof.

He said: “I would encourage householders to take a look at the crime prevention advice on our force website and just take that one extra step towards protecting their home and property.

“It could be locking doors and windows at all times, particularly as spring approaches, or downloading tracking software on tablets and phones.

“I would also recommend the www.securedbydesign.com website and to consider investing in a monitored alarm system or CCTV to act as a deterrent.”

“If your property has a garage, please store your vehicle securely in it, especially if it is of high value and high performance.

“It is important to remain vigilant, but householders should not be alarmed – the risk of being burgled in Cambridgeshire remains low and with a few sensible precautions residents can do a significant amount to lessen that risk still further.”

Police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “Operation Aware is a great opportunity to remind people of steps they can take to keep their properties safe and I am delighted to support this initiative.

“I understand just how distressing household burglary can be for victims; not just when the crime takes place, but afterwards when long term affects can be felt. I want to reassure people that burglary remains a force priority with everything possible being done to target offenders.”