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Successes prompt police to extend anti-burglary drive
A POLICE operation to tackle burglary in south Worcestershire has been extended for the second time after latest figures revealed a fall of more than 150 incidents.
Last month, your Worcester News reported West Mercia Police’s Operation Fuchsia had been such a success it had been extended until the end of October, and this week it was announced it would now run until the end of November.
The operation has been working since September, devoting extra resources to tackling burglary during a time of year when the crime traditionally increases as a result of the darker evenings.
Detective Inspector Stuart Murphy said the force had recorded 259 burglaries in the region from April 1 to now, in comparison with 426 in the same period last year. The target figure for the operation was 385.
“There’s a really big reduction there,” he said. “We’re going in the right direction and that’s happened for a variety of reasons.
“We’ve got a number of burglars in custody, either serving custodial sentences or under remand.”
He said a key part of the operation had been targeting areas where homes are at particularly high risk of burglary. “If we see a spike in any part of our patch we will put officers in that area,” he said.
“At the moment, we seem to be targeting the right areas and we want to keep these figures where they are but we need the help of the public.
“We want people to take stock of their own personal security. A number of burglaries we’ve had – especially in Malvern – were the result of people leaving their doors or windows unlocked.”
He said the operation was also focusing on students in off-campus, rented accommodation, many of whom are living away from home for the first time.
“We have had incidents where a student’s laptop, with all their coursework for the year has been stolen, just because they left a window open.
“Burglars are opportunists – if they see a chance to get in a house they will take it.”
West Mercia Police also launched a Darker Nights campaign this week.
Measures to deter would-be burglars include using timer switches to make sure lights are on so it looks like someone is at home and registering valuable items on the free national property register immobilise.com.
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