Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie on Tuesday (May 28), a week-long summer burglary crime prevention and awareness campaign.
Out of 43 UK police forces, Sussex is one of the safest places to live with low rates of burglary compared to other counties across England and Wales. There were 7170 reports of burglary from January - December 2018, 1134 fewer offences (13.6%) over the same period in 2017 (8304).
This campaign will build on our successes in protecting communities from burglary through raising awareness and sharing advice about protecting homes during the summer months. We also want to show our commitment to bring offenders to justice for this type of crime, especially where vulnerable people are targeted.
During this week (28 May to 3 June,) prevention advice and social media messages will be shared to help further prevent burglaries.
Sussex Police takes reports of such crimes very seriously. On 1 May 2019, at Lewes Crown Court, Marie Keane, 50, was jailed for seven years for offences including burglary. Marie often claimed to be a carer, and targeted vulnerable and elderly people in their own homes. She was arrested after some excellent police work and pleaded guilty to six offences – three burglaries, two thefts from persons and a fraud by false representation.
Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, Sussex Police burglary prevention lead said: “We have worked hard to reduce instances of burglary in Sussex over the last year and have seen a significant reduction in reports of this crime. We continue to work to protect members of our communities from this crime and through this campaign we will be offering advice on keeping homes, outbuildings and business premises safe.
“We treat burglary as a serious matter, especially where vulnerable members of the community are targeted and will be sharing examples of where we have prosecuted individuals for such crimes. None of this is achieved without your support and I am really grateful to all our partners, including Neighbourhood Watch and members of the community who work with us to reduce burglary and bring offenders to justice.”
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Sussex is the fifth least likely county to be burgled in the country which means it’s generally a safe place to live. However, this does not take away from the profound effect this crime can have on a victim. We often forget the personal impact someone experiences and nobody should ever feel unsafe in their home.
“I am confident that Sussex Police is proactively tackling this issue but I will continue to ensure that they maintain their effective levels of prevention and deterrent activities. This is why I support Operation Magpie which will see officers directly targeting those who commit burglary whilst continuing to give crime prevention advice to homeowners.
“We all have a part to play to help keep Sussex safe and I urge residents to follow police advice and keep their property secure so that they are not a target for burglars.”
To help protect yourself this summer whether you are home or planning a trip away, please read our crime prevention advice online: https://www.sussex.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/.
Register your belongings on the Immobilise national property register. It's free and takes just a few minutes. If your valuables are stolen it will allow you to tell the police, your insurer and secondhand traders to assist in recovering your property and catch the thief. Find out more on their website.
You can also keep up to date by joining Sussex Police’s Community Message service, In the Know which will keep you posted on latest news in your police district. Find out how to join here.
Communities can work together to prevent crime. By joining an existing Neighbourhood Watch scheme or becoming a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator your community can be stronger together. To find out more about Neighbourhood Watch, visit their website.
Author: Natalie Patrick