Cheltenham residents to get anti-burglary advice as part of new operation spa Initiative
2:36pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
PEOPLE living near the victims of burglaries in Cheltenham are to be given crime prevention advice to try to stop them from being targeted next.
The initiative will see officers visit homes close to victims of a break-in to warn them that thieves have struck in the area and to offer a home security check. The check will make suggestions on how the home can be made more secure and an unattractive target for thieves.
The house-to-house crime prevention tactic, known as cocooning, forms part of a new crime prevention campaign linked to Operation Spa – an initiative that aims to cause maximum disruption to criminals in the town and to bring burglars to justice.
Operation Spa has helped see a reduction in dwelling burglaries across the whole of the Cheltenham Local Policing Area so far this year, with a 7% decrease between January 1 and September 31 when compared to the same time last year.
However, certain areas have been targeted in recent weeks and the police are eager to clamp down on the issue as we reach the winter months when thieves can act under the cloak of darkness.
Therefore, alongside the existing operation, the local policing team for Cheltenham are hoping to work with residents in the town to make homes are harder target for thieves.
Inspector Paul Cruise, who is leading on the crime prevention operation, said: “This new strand to our anti-burglary operation is not meant to scare but to empower the community and deter offenders.
“Research has shown that a burglar is more likely to return to the same area to commit an offence as they know how likely they are to get caught and how much they are likely to be able to steal from a home. Cocooning is designed to stop that but acting as a warning to thieves that the homes are protected, difficult to break into and that the residents will report suspicious activity to the police.
“After an area has been ‘cocooned’ signs will also be put up to make potential criminals aware that we have been active in the area to help people protect their homes and that they should think twice before trying to commit crimes there again.
“We’d also like to remind people to make sure they call 999 if they see any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood. We would much rather be called to something that turns out to be legitimate than to miss an opportunity to prevent a crime or catch an offender.”