Sussex Police launch winter anti-burglary campaign

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Sussex Police are urging homeowners to stay safe this winter as the force launches a new anti-burglary campaign today (October 21).

The campaign will highlight the devastating impact that burglary can have on victims through victims’ own stories and tips to protect the home.

The move comes as part of Operation Magpie, a police initiative to reduce home break-ins across the county.

Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones, campaign leader for Operation Magpie, said, “We know that there is an increase in home burglaries once the clocks go back and the evenings become darker.

“Unlit properties can easily suggest that no one is home, and of course many of us are out at this time of year celebrating bonfire activities.

“Evidence suggests that campaigns like this have helped to continue a year-on-year reduction in burglaries. It’s important to continue the good work and ensure both police and residents are doing all they can to deter criminals.

“Burglary can have a devastating effect on how people feel in their own homes as well as on local communities and we encourage everyone to share these important messages with family, friends and neighbours and to take steps to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of this type of crime.

“Raising awareness of the impact burglary can have through victims’ stories is one way we hope people will stop and think and take a few extra home security steps, as we all think it will not happen to us.

“By deterring potential burglars the aim is to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Prevention is always better than cure.”

Police say they hope the campaign will help reduce burglary over the winter months, which usually see an increase in break-ins.

Burglaries in Sussex fell by 5.8 per cent – from an average of 275 per month in 2014 to an average of 259 burglaries per month in 2015 – but officers say they are committed to seeing the number drop even further.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katie Bourne, said, “I’m pleased that the number of burglary dwellings across the county has reduced. The impact of a burglary can have a profound effect on victims and they may often describe it as a robbery or an invasion of their home; terms that actually relate to acts on a person not a property.

“This reinforces the deep, personal impact that a burglary has on someone who experiences it. We all have a part to play to help keep Sussex safe and as the nights draw in and I urge residents to follow police advice and keep their property secure so that they are not a target for burglars.”

More information about the project can be found on the Sussex Police website here.

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