Burglaries plummet in Bexley

Thursday, 20 May, 2010

Bexley Police have reduced burglary offences by 38% in the last six weeks.

This reduction, the third highest in London, is as a direct result of local initiatives and proactive police operations to crackdown on prolific offenders and criminals believed to be involved in the handling of stolen goods.

Led by the Burglary Squad, and supported operationally by Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, the Borough Support Unit, Territorial Support Group and response teams all of whom have been prioritising their uniform and plain clothes patrols in areas experiencing burglaries.

For the period 1st April to 9th May 2010 the number of burglaries in Bexley Borough which has almost 100,000 households has gone down from 150 to 93 offences compared with the same period last year. This is from an average of 25 to just over 15 burglaries a week.

As well as conducting a wealth of crime prevention initiatives to raise awareness and to encourage people to improve their home security, we have taken additional steps to improve the overall performance in police response to burglaries across the borough, such as:

• A forensic team will attend burglaries within 4 hours of being requested by police.

• Borough officers have received further training to recover forensic evidence including DNA and fingerprints.

• Safer Neighbourhoods teams visit every victim of burglary within 24 hours and provide enhanced support to more vulnerable victims; they also visit the neighbours of all burglary victims to highlight crime prevention methods to prevent further offences.

• Victims will be kept informed about how the investigation is doing. If a suspect is charged victims will be contacted by our Witness Care Unit.

• The Witness Care Unit will keep victims updated about how the case is progressing through the Criminal Justice System until the case is closed. They will also provide information about attending court if it is required.

• Seeking to remand all burglars to prevent them from re-offending while they are waiting to appear in court.

Temporary Borough Commander Glyn Jones said, "Bexley remains one of London's safest boroughs and tackling burglary is one of our top priorities. My officers have been working hard to reduce the number of offences and disrupt those criminal networks involved in residential burglary and they should be left in no doubt that we will continue to relentlessly target them and bring them to justice. We will also use the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation to seize stolen money and other assets from people convicted of burglary and handling stolen goods".

He went on to say, "Public awareness around the work we do and in partnership with the local authority is paramount in providing reassurance and raising public confidence. Burglars also end up in our local newspapers and we hope this encourages readers to secure their homes, stay alert and call us with information about those who are committing crime in Bexley. Together we can reduce burglary even further."

Detective Sergeant Shelley Barrett said, "Burglary can have a devastating impact on its victims and my team of detectives is committed to reducing the harm it causes Bexley communities".

She went on to say, "Only last week four burglars were sentenced at Crown Court for committing burglary in Bexley which clearly demonstrates our commitment to bringing criminals to justice. Some sentences handed down by the courts may seem disproportionate in comparison to others, but this can be due to variations in the offence, and the accused's background and record of previous offending".

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