South Yorkshire: Campaign launched to advice residents of home security

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Police in Rotherham have launched a campaign to target house burglary across the area.

Officers have been targeting areas within the district to provide crime prevention advice to residents as a means to help them reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

A team of four Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) visit every burglary dwelling victim within 24 hours of a burglary or an attempted burglary on their property.

One PCSO will sit with the victim to offer them advice about the security of their property and offer ways of improvement where necessary.

The other three PCSOs visit ten properties across the road, behind and either side of the victim’s address, known as cocooning. This means visiting 40 homes around the victim’s property to ask neighbours if they witnessed any activity pertinent to the investigation of the burglary.

They also provide security advice to the householder and leave them with crime prevention leaflets advising them on reducing the risk of property related crime and a property marking pen.

Uniformed officers in high visibility clothing, patrol recent and high risk burglary hot-spot locations at times that offenders may be active.

Victim Support in Rotherham are also involved in the scheme and offer invaluable support to the victims of burglary. In the near future it is planned that victim support volunteers will accompany the PCSOs on their visits, and offer key advice and support to crime victims.

Chief inspector Ian Womersley said: “This project provides a considered and targeted response to house burglary in Rotherham.”

“It not only places uniformed police officers in the right place at the right time, it also provides comprehensive support and advice to crime victims and those living nearby.”

“The help of Victim Support Rotherham adds significant value to the project as their volunteers are able to engage and understand the worries and concerns of the victims.”

“Burglary is a horrible crime and many victims worry about thieves coming back and the consequences of somebody coming into their home, where they live with their family. These volunteers can offer reassurance and support where needed.”

Police constable Andy Robinson, crime reduction projectoOfficer said: “The work of the Forager team with victims and their neighbours provides those involved with quality impartial security advice. This advice when followed should significantly reduce the chances of them becoming victims of crime in to the future.”

“It also allows the opportunity for officers to gather a great amount of evidence about the burglary offences, which maximises the opportunities to detect crimes and convict offenders.”

“It is a little early yet to determine the true impact of the new project but similar projects elsewhere have led to significant reductions in offences of burglary.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright said: “This is a clear message from the police. It’s important for people to take care of their homes by keeping them secure and not tempting burglars by leaving valuable objects on show - this will help the police in Rotherham to do their job of cracking down on burglary.”

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