Operation Magpie Week 2

From Sussex Police –

Remember, remember this Fifth of November…to make sure your home is secure against burglars. The run up to bonfire and fireworks season leads to a jump in burglaries – with more happening in Sussex on 5 November than any other day of the year.

Bonfire Night kicks off a five-day break-in spree for criminals in the county, with statistics from the last five years revealing there are more burglaries in that period than at any other time of the year.

Police this year are working with Neighbourhood Watch groups as well as neighbouring forces to encourage residents to make their homes secure and to report suspicious behaviour.

There were 80 burglaries committed in Sussex on 5 November between 2009 and 2013 – an average of 16 crimes on that day each year.

In comparison, there were nine burglaries on average per day in Sussex last year.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Betts said: “The statistics show that Bonfire Night and the days around it are popular with burglars as residents go out to events in the evenings.

“We’re determined to change that pattern this year by showing residents how they can make their homes more secure and less inviting to intruders.

“Our PCSOs are also organising street surgeries across the county to give burglary prevention advice to residents.”

Throughout the year officers share information with Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and members to keep them up to date with crime in the community.

Extra advice is currently being passed to residents by Neighbourhood Watch groups to try to prevent them becoming a victim of burglary.

Simple things like making sure windows and doors are locked, putting lights on a timer and not leaving valuables on display can make the difference between being burgled or not.

John Wright, the chairman of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation and a trustee of the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network, said: “For more than 30 years Neighbourhood Watch has been partnering police in the prevention and detection of crime, as well as public and community safety.

“If everybody were to keep an eye open for things out of the ordinary and immediately contacted the police about suspicious activity, career criminals could be put behind bars and prevented from committing further crimes.

“It’s all about care in the community and ordinary people helping each other out. The evidence is that where Neighbourhood Watch schemes operate, the chances of being burgled are hugely reduced. And the beauty of it all is that Neighbourhood Watch is free to join.”

If you have any information about burglaries or shops selling stolen goods, call 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk. For crime prevention advice visit www.sussex.police.uk.

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.

You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com.

Watch a video about Immobilise and how it works here.

For more information about Neighbourhood Watch in your area visit www.ourwatch.org.uk.