LOCAL BURGLARIES – UPDATE FROM YOUR COUNCILLORS
What are the police doing and how we can help others and ourselves?
Following concerns raised by residents relating to a recent increase in burglaries, Local Conservatives recently had a meeting with Greg Turner, Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede Police Inspector.
He gave us a comprehensive perspective of all the activities the police have underway to address the recent increase in burglaries and the progress they are making.
After a long term reducing trend, recorded burglary in Surrey and nationally has started to rise this year. It is difficult to compare this year’s figures with those of the previous year because the Home Office crime counting rules have changed. The crimes are typically opportunistic, non-violent, ‘quick in and out’ seeking items such as cash, watches and jewellery. Crimes are typically carried out between 4pm and 10pm.
The boroughs of Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede have experienced significant increases and the more affluent areas of the Borough, nearest to London, such as Weybridge are attractive to gangs from outside the area (and indeed outside the country).
What Are the Police Doing About the Problem?
Surrey Police has launched a burglary operation: Operation Spearhead. This includes the deployment of extra overt and covert resources, as well as more sensitive confidential ongoing work. Many arrests have been made recently, six within the last two weeks, with a further two charged and on remand in Elmbridge alone. Additionally, Surrey Police is offering the services of specialist Designing Out Crime Officers to liaise with victims and the community and improving their security, and it has also increased its use of social media and “In the Know” emails to raise awareness.
What Can We Do to Help Ourselves and the Police?
- It is not only the Police who prevent crime. There is nothing better than a community that has engaged, vigilant residents who look out for each other and report things that look out of place. Dial 101 for non-emergencies. 999 for crimes about to happen, in progress, that have just occurred or if someone is in immediate danger. The police will never criticise someone for calling the wrong number in good faith.
- We all need to consider whether our own home security arrangements are effective and appropriate to the property and contents. In many cases, big houses with expensive contents have inadequate security, which increases the risk of becoming a victim. Police guidance can be found at this link: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-your-home-and-belongings/burglary/
Residents should consider such issues as:
- Window and door locks
- Remote monitored burglar alarms
- Security cameras, both indoor and outdoor (wireless ones are now highly affordable)
- Security doorbells
- Access, particularly from the rear of properties where ladders, garden furniture and single-story extensions have all been used to gain entry.
- The Police have a ‘Design Out Crime Officer’ (DOCO). His name is Mike Bessent. He is a qualified crime reduction specialist, and can offer free bespoke home security advice. To request a visit, use this link: https://www.surrey.police.uk/elmbridge/esher-claygate/
- Find out what is happening in your area – witness appeals, crime updates, crime prevention advice and news. It’s specific to your interests and local area; from reliable sources and you’re in control of how often you are contacted and who you receive information from. Sign up via https://www.intheknow.community/
- Follow the Surrey Police Facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/SurreyPoliceand tap Weybridge into the search box.
- Follow the Twitter page https://twitter.com/ElmbridgeBeat
- The Police can be emailed via the link on their webpage, which is monitored during weekday office hours. https://www.surrey.police.uk/elmbridge/esher-claygate/
and of course you should find out who co- ordinates YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH SCHEME or if there isn’t one then how about setting one up ?