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Police Crime Prevention

From Northamptonshire Police:-

With effect from yesterday extra officers have been drafted in to provide high-visibility patrols across Northampton as the Force intensifies efforts to find those responsible for a number of burglaries in which gold and jewellery have been stolen.

Northamptonshire Police has a large team of officers and detectives working around the clock to investigate the burglaries, several of which involved violence or threats of violence against the victims.

Supt Dennis Murray, head of investigations, said police were doing everything possible to bring the offenders to justice.

He said: “This a real priority for us and, as such, we will be committing even more officers to patrols in Northampton and other areas affected by this crime type from tonight (Sunday, March 25).

“We are closely engaged with the communities affected and are working with them to tackle this. Anyone with any suspicions is asked to report it through the Force Control Room on 101, or in the event of an emergency, on 999. The earlier we get the call, the sooner we can respond and this increases our chances of catching these criminals or ruling something suspicious out. Responding to your reports this week we have arrested 2 males for drugs offences, seized 2 vehicles and ruled out 3 suspicious incidents.

“Police are aware that patrols have been set up by members of the community affected.  We would like to urge community members not to take the law into their own hands and to reassure you that we have resources assigned to deal with any reported concerns. We are aware of two incidents where innocent parties have been confronted in their vehicles by groups of males. This has caused alarm to the individuals concerned and has the potential for creating disorder that may detract us from our core purpose of investigating these burglaries and bringing the offenders to justice.”

Supt Murray urged community leaders to reinforce the message that it is the role of the police to investigate crime and the Force would work with them to that end.

Further meetings between community leaders and senior police officers, are being organised by Chief Insp Lara Alexander-Lloyd for next week, to put in place a joint approach with the community he added.

Supt Murray urged people to read the advice already sent out by Northamptonshire Police to assist people who have high value gold and jewellery.

Here are those tips to help protect it and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime:

•       We recommend removing your gold and jewellery from your home to keep it and your family as safe as possible.  Police officers are working with financial institutions in Northamptonshire to make safety deposit box schemes more readily available in the county. For now, the Metro Bank in Milton Keynes is the closest location with safety deposit box facilities. Similar schemes are also available in Leicester, Birmingham and London

•       Don’t talk about your valuable gold and jewellery outside of your home and don’t tell people that you have it

•       Avoid posting about weddings, festivals or other celebrations on social media – criminals may see your posts and work out when you won’t be at home, or use your photos to identify valuables, including gold jewellery. Ensure your privacy settings mean only people you know can see your profile, posts and pictures

•       When attending events, consider only putting your jewellery on when you arrive, and removing it again before you leave. Travel to and from celebrations in a group, using well-lit streets. If you get a taxi, check you are using a licensed, reputable firm

•       Make sure your jewellery is marked with a suitable security product such as SmartWater® and register your property free of charge at www.immobilise.com.  Find information on traceable liquids at www.securedbydesign.com.  You may also consider having items laser engraved with your name

•       Photograph each piece of valuable gold or jewellery and keep a written description - this will help in appealing for information and returning it to you if it is ever stolen

•       Don’t be tricked into letting offenders in. Always check callers before opening the door and, if you are not sure don’t open the door.  You can deter an offender from targeting your home by following this advice:

•       Try to avoid decorating the outside of your home during religious festivals and events. Symbols, flags, lights or other emblems can all help criminals identify homes where gold is likely to be present.  Be mindful of displaying religious icons on your vehicle as well

•       Keep front and back doors locked at all times – even when you are at home

•       If you open windows for air, make sure that they are closed before you go out or leave the room

•       Keep keys and other valuables out of sight and reach from cat flaps, letterboxes and downstairs doors and windows

•       Leave a light on or use a timer switch so that your house looks occupied if you are out after dark

•       Invest in an approved house alarm; this is a real deterrent to burglars

•       Make sure your home looks occupied whilst you are away by stopping or redirecting post, and cancel other deliveries. Arrange for a friend or trusted neighbour to pick up the post, check on your property and to open and draw curtains

•       Is the person at the door saying they are from the police / waterboard / utility company?  Do not allow them to enter your property until they have shown you identification. If you are still not sure, close the door and call the police or company they claim they are from to verify their identity.  Do not use the phone number they provide you with or their phone to do this. If you are not sure - do not open the door

•       Consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.  If there is no local scheme, why not start your own?

•       Report suspicious vehicles in your area or any activity you think is suspicious to police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.   In an emergency, call 999

Please note that the above is to keep you in the loop on key issues in the county