POLICE have praised local people for working with them to bring the number of burglaries across the district down by more than half since last year.
A number of schemes were put in place when burglaries spiked last year, with 27 incidents being reported between April and June 2010. And now Banbridge Inspector Jacqui Gillespie has congratulated people for taking simple steps to make their homes, cars and belongings safer from the hands of thieves.
Inspector Gillespie was speaking following good results for local police in tackling various types of crime in the most recent quarter this year. Last month’s DPP meeting saw Area Commander Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney praise people for reporting crime and his officers for tackling it.
The number of domestic burglaries - which dropped by almost 52 per cent - was the most significant reduction, but other areas also saw falls in crime.
Thefts fell by almost 30 per cent to 100 incidents between April and June this year, from 141 at the same time last year. No-one was killed on the roads in that period, compared to three deaths or serious injuries at the same time last year. Police were also successful in ensuring almost all of their officers spent at least 80 percent of their time on Neighbourhood Policing duties one of the targets in their local policing plan for the year.
Meanwhile Inspector Gillespie said the advice issued on burglary, garden security, oil thefts, thefts from cars, creeper burglaries and bogus callers has been well-received and the simple changes people have made to their daily habits have more than likely prevented many would-be burglaries.
A police spokeswoman said, “Tackling burglary is a priority for police in E District who are constantly working to reduce the number of burglaries in the area and educate local residents on how they can best protect their property.
“Burglary can have a devastating effect on its victims - an intrusion on someone’s personal space and a violation of their feelings of safety. The reality is that the vast majority of burglaries are opportunistic. Thieves and criminals will grab an opportunity where they see it. If they notice an open door or window they will take a chance.
“Police can conduct patrols, target hot spot areas, analyse different trends and patterns but they cannot be everywhere all of the time so everyone must take steps to protect their own property and reduce the opportunities for thieves to strike!
“One of the most important messages we can send to home and property owners is - If you notice something suspicious or out of place contact police immediately. Our best chance of detaining offenders and obtaining evidence is to catch someone in the act.”
She added, “We would encourage all members of the public to contact police if they notice anything unusual or out of place in their local area - it is better to get something checked out and find nothing untoward than realise later that a crime was being committed. Police can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.
“Police recommend that you save the quickcheck number - 0800 013 22 90 - and the police non-emergency number - 0845 600 8000 - on your speed dial at home so that both are easily dialled if you need to make contact.”
For full details on how to secure your home visit www.banbridgeleader.co.uk.