Fall in burglaries following police operation

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The number of burglaries reported has fallen by 37 per cent when compared to the same period last year, say police.

And officers have said the reduction in reported crimes over this time is down to a two-week operation carried out by the PSNI.

During operation Cordella, which took place between September 29 and October 9, the PSNI said it arrested 42 suspects and conducted 27 searches leading to 64 charges being brought before the PPS.

Figures show a 37 per cent drop in overall domestic burglary from 281 last year to 177 this year, with the number of domestic burglaries affecting over 60s dropping by 13.9 per cent from 65 last year to 56 this year.

District officers and detectives from Reactive and Organised Crime Branch worked alongside Tactical Support Groups and Roads Policing to raise the visible police profile against burglaries and burglars over the fortnight.

This involved mounting vehicle check points, conducting searches at premises of interest, deploying cash sniffer dogs and providing advice and information to householders and business owners on how to secure their premises.

Provisional figures indicate there have been 8,042 burglaries, at both domestic and business premises, between September 1 and end of August 2016. This is a decrease of 11.7 per cent on the same period the previous year when 9,110 burglaries were recorded.

The number of domestic burglaries for the period 1 September 2015 – end August 2016 is provisionally recorded as 5,405 which is a 9.7 per cent decrease on the same period the previous year when 5,985 domestic burglaries were reported.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Simon Walls, PSNI lead for burglary, said: “Our focused period of enforcement activity has once again reduced the incidence of burglaries. Indeed, over the last two years domestic burglaries have shown a downwards trend. Non domestic burglaries have also been decreasing over that period.

“While this is welcome news and evidence of effective police activity, we are not complacent. We have worked to focus our resources on locations and individuals and to raise awareness in communities about how people can prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime and keep their property safe.

“One example is the Nominated Neighbour Scheme: if a caller arrives when you are alone in the house, they can be shown a card instructing them to contact your ‘Nominated Neighbour’, who will then try and check the caller’s identity avoiding the need for you to open your front door. The forms can be downloaded by clicking here from our website or people can contact a local officer who will provide them free of charge.

“Burglaries are a violation of people’s personal space and cherished possessions. Our higher profile in communities, making sure any burglary hotspots receive increased attention, has been effective. For those individuals who have been charged, a conviction will lead to serious consequences. Despite pressures on our resources, we will continue to look at how we can extend such operations to achieve maximum benefit.”

T/Chief Superintendent Walls appealed to property owners not to take security for granted: “When you leave the property, make sure all the doors and windows are locked and secure and always keep your keys safe.”