News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Monday, 17 August 2009

North Bristol Burglary Upsurge

A spate of local burglaries has prompted a message from Avon and Somerset Police Inspector Mark Runacres to local neighbourhood watch groups alerting residents to the current problem.

The message reads, "There has been an increase in burglary offences on the Henleaze, Westbury-on-Trym and Southmead beats in recent weeks with offences being committed in the early hours of the morning and access gained to properties via insecure ground floor doors and windows. On some occasions car keys have been taken and vehicles stolen from the driveway. "

Residents are then asked asked to make sure that their homes are secured properly, particularly during hot weather when windows may have been left open during the day.

Trym Tales understands that burglaries have included opportunistic walk-in offenses as well as operations planned to coincide with when householders were known to be away on holiday.

Police patrols have been increased in neighbourhoods that have been targeted, and investigations are on-going to identify and arrest the offenders.

Advice from the Avon and Somerset website on staying secure during the summer are as follows:
  • Always secure windows and doors – even in warmer weather and especially at night. If you do want to open a window, never leave it unattended
  • Keep small high-value items like your car keys, mobile phone, wallet, handbag and jewellery out of sight, and ensure they can not be seen through cat flaps and letter boxes
  • Don't keep pin numbers in your diary, as if your entire handbag and all its contents get stolen criminals know to look for these
  • Set light switch timers for when you are out or away on holiday
  • Take an interest in the security at the homes of vulnerable family members and look out for your neighbours
  • Report any suspicious behaviour. It is common for an offender to checkout a number of properties for entry points before finding a vulnerable home
  • Keep photos of your jewellery, take a note of serial numbers and mark your property with a forensic code liquid, like SmartWater.

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