Patrols and cameras cut town burglaries by a quarter, say police

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Officers were pursuing a suspected stolen vehicle before it was in collision with another vehicle

FOOT patrols by specialist officers and newly installed cameras combined to reduce burglary crime rates in Ringwood by up to a quarter over three weeks, say police.

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There were 15 reported residential and commercial-related burglaries in the town and its surrounding areas between 16th July and 4th August, compared to 20 in the three weeks prior.

Hampshire police chiefs largely attributed to the “higher visibility presence” of officers.

The force’s inspector for the New Forest West district, Michael Minnock, said the proactive action was taken by Ringwood neighbourhood teams on patrol with specialist officers.

They were deployed to high-risk areas to deter suspicious activity, identify offenders and use stop-and-search powers. New automatic number plate recognition cameras had “enhanced investigative opportunities” relating to burglaries in the area, he said.

“This demonstrates the impact policing can have on the community in ensuring a higher visibility presence,” Insp. Minnock added.

“The figures provide clear evidence that a combination of more frequent patrols of key burglary hotspots alongside stop-and-search checks are having the desired effect.

“In such a short space of time, to have a fall of up to 25% in reported burglaries in the area is a great result – and something that we as a local neighbourhood policing team will continue to strive to reduce this further, treating these incidents as a district priority.”

Insp. Minnock continued: “We want the local community to be reassured that our neighbourhood policing teams are doing all that they can within their powers to prioritise investigative opportunities at all reported burglaries in the area.

“While there has been a decrease in burglary activity in the area, Hampshire Constabulary are continuing to urge local residents to remain vigilant and to report any crimes which are in progress or where there is a threat to life by calling 999.”

The force issued tips to residents and businesses to help them avoid becoming a victim of burglary, including locking windows before leaving and not promoting a holiday on social media before making their trip.

All keys should be placed out of sight, side gates should be locked, and ladders and garden tools locked away in sheds. People were advised to have an intruder alarm system installed and the alarm box visible outside their home.

It also suggested homeowners consider fitting security lighting and door chains and spy holes, adding: “Never be afraid to turn people away. If you have concerns about anyone who has come to your door call the police.”

The force said people should ensure their privacy settings have been set up correctly for social media profiles or applications which make use of GPS, such as FitBit or Strava.

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