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Concern over Local Burglaries

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

After a number of local burglaries, we have been asked to pass on the following comment by Peter Martin, Chiltern District Councillor for Little Chalfont and Bucks County Councillor for Great Missenden:

“Your local councillors are very concerned at the recent break ins and burglaries in Prestwood. Talking to the Neighbourhood Police it is clear that there has been an increase in burglary across the Thames Valley police area.

The cases in Prestwood are currently being investigated by the CID. Victims of crime can expect a visit from the Neighbourhood Police team in addition to that from the initial responding officers. They will aim to visit neighbours and give crime advice.

Police resources are under pressure and our neighbourhood sergeant with two police constables and seven PCSO’s have a large area to cover. Nevertheless over the last two weeks they have increased the number of officers on late duty and night patrols by 50%.

Getting more officers on the beat is important and the Government has talked of increasing the number of officers; we will lobby hard for a share of this important extra resource.

We are also supporting the Community and the police in their application for an ANPR camera for Prestwood this is much needed and will help the police in their work.”

Chesham Neighbourhood Police Sergeant Roy Evans informed the most recent Community Forum meeting that Chiltern & South Bucks is the most targetted area for burglaries within the Thames Valley Police area. His counterpart at Amersham, Sergeant Darren Walsh, has recently circulated a detailed letter recommending measures to make our homes more secure. You can download the letter, or read the recommendations below:

Home security advice letter issued by Sgt Darren Walsh November 2019 (PDF)

With the dark nights and mornings upon us, we expect the number of burglaries to increase during the winter season. To tackle these criminals it is important that we work together in trying to prevent and reduce crime.

From looking at recent crimes we have found that in a large number of recent cases burglars are using items from the garden to gain entry into houses.

The impact of having your house burgled is immense both financially and mentally. Yet it is common for us to delay doing things until a close friend or yourself has been subjected to such an attack. Having the time or money to buy security measures can also be a reason.

I have listed below a number of security top tips. How many boxes do you tick with your security?

  1. Make it appear that someone is at home.
    Leave a light and the radio on when the nights draw in. Use a fake TV light device.
    Use timer switches.
    Do you have an internet assistant e.g. Alexa? Some have a new security App so try it out.
    Make sure your doors and windows are properly closed and have British Standard locks.
  2. Improve your security.
    Camera Doorbell as most burglars will knock first. This is about the cheapest way to get CCTV.
    Install an SSAIB or NSI alarm or at least have a fake box installed.
    Get motion sensors inside your house so you can see if something is wrong whilst you are away from the address.
    Install CCTV or consider CCTV signs depending on your budget.
    Improve your locks and get window film to stop windows easily being smashed.
    Advertise your property is security marked. Use SMARTWATER /Selecta DNA window stickers.
  3. Do not display your wealth.
    Performance cars will often be targeted if you have a top end car lock it in the garage.
    Do not have your keys on display on the sideboard. Keys can be fished through letter boxes. Get a letterbox guard or cage.
    Just who are you updating with the Facebook Posts when you are on holiday?
    Asian gold is being targeted. What identifies your house as a place likely to have such gold?
    Do not keep large amounts of cash at home.
    As Christmas is approaching try to make sure that presents are not visible to anyone outside.
  4. Consider the garden.
    Consider a ‘beware of the dog, sign or a dog bowl will make the burglar think twice.
    Padlock the gate and close the front gates.
    Secure your fences. Trellis is a great obstacle for burglars due to it most likely collapsing, consider cheap spikey fence options like prickly strip (make sure you put the signs up) This is a real cheap option and can result in us getting suspects’ DNA.
    Plant prickly plants at tactical places around the garden boundary.
    Burglars can use large ornaments or rocks or garden tools to break in, so look to remove opportunities and make sure you securely lock away any tools after use.
  5. Look out for your neighbours.
    Join NHW.
    Set up a no door step selling zone. Eliminate a reason for burglars to knock on your door.
    Speak to your neighbours and tell them if workmen are coming or you are going away.
    Be a good neighbour and conduct checks if your neighbours are going away.
    And finally if you see something suspicious call it in to the police. You know your area best!
  6. To beat the burglar we need to work with the most important partner in tackling crime: You, the public. I hope that you will take the first step in helping us to help you create a safer, more resilient and friendly neighbourhood for you all to live in.

    As Shaw Taylor would say “Keep em peeled!”. Have a safe and Merry Christmas.

    Yours sincerely
    Darren Walsh

    Police Sergeant Darren Walsh
    Amersham Neighbourhood Policing team

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