A new campaign to target burglars who make the lives of Peterborough residents a misery has been launched today.
Operation Aware kicks off today (March 12) with a day of action involving extra activities across the county on top of normal policing.
It is the second of an ongoing series of days of action being run by the force. Last month, the force ran Operation Oculus, its biggest ever crime prevention day.
There will be warrants carried out to arrest suspects and, “we’re watching you”, visits made to others suspected of being involved in burglaries.
Visits will be made to residents in areas affected by burglary to encourage property registration and marking, and officers will be working with partners to promote awareness of crime reduction tactics and prevent handling of stolen goods.
Burglary is a force priority and the number of burglaries has risen in the past year, reflecting a national trend.
In the 12 months to the end of February, there were 2869 dwelling burglaries, compared to 2142 for the same period the year before, a rise of 34 per cent.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Simmons said: “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.”
However, DCI Simmons said 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.”
DCI Simmons said householders should avoid keeping large quantities of high value jewellery or gold at home and, if possible, invest in a safety deposit facility.
He added: “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.”