The number of burglaries reported across the South East has fallen after Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Thames Valley Police launched their first joint campaign to tackle the issue.
The three-week campaign ran from October 27th to November 16th and involved operations by detectives from across the forces, crime prevention roadshows and officers from different departments and divisions working together to hunt for burglary suspects.
The campaign was timed to coincide with Bonfire Night, which traditionally kicks off a five-day break-in spree for criminals in the region. Statistics from the last five years reveal there are more burglaries in that period than at any other time of the year.
This year the total number of burglaries in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Thames Valley between 27 October and 16 November fell by 16% – from 1247 in 2013 to 1048.
In Sussex there were 239 burglaries compared to 256 in 2013. There were also 45 burglary suspects arrested in Sussex during the campaign while suspects were charged with 20 burglaries.
Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones, of Sussex Police, said: “The campaign has been a great success both in catching burglars and encouraging people to make their homes less attractive to offenders.
“We have run a series of cross-border operations, shared intelligence with our neighbouring forces and generally developed a closer way of working that is helping us now in the future to tackle burglary.
“Burglaries are very distressing for victims and can cause them worry and upset for months or even years after they have been targeted. Some are left feel unsafe even in their own homes. We are determined to reduce the number of people who have to suffer at the hands of these offenders.
“The campaign may have finished but we will continue to target suspects and work with the public to make it harder for criminals to earn a living through burglary in Sussex.”
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie last year to tackle burglary across the county.
Among the recent successes for the team was the charging of Carl Walker, 22, with a burglary in Shelley Road, Worthing, on November 1st. Walker, of no fixed address, was ordered to appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on November 17th but failed to do so and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents are also 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.