Early success for Operation Switch
BURGLARIES in Gloucester are down by almost a quarter on the same period last year, fuelling claims of success on the city wide crackdown by police.
Operation Switch launched on October 14 with police calling on known offenders warning them of their extra vigilance ahead of the clocks going back on Sunday.
Advice is also being passed on to vulnerable households, urging residents to beef up their home security during the campaign.
Sergeant Jon Testar, who is leading Operation Switch and the police disruption team, said the figures were showing early signs of success.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
“It is not looking too bad so far,” he said.
“In the eight days we have been running from October 14, we have had 16 dwelling burglaries. Last year, there were 22 for the same period. The reduction is positive. On the first day, we had a result following calls from the public. We are encouraging people to continue to call 999 if they see people looking over fences or acting suspiciously.
“It is important people report any suspicious sounds, like breaking glass or loud banging. It is what they hear, not just what they see that is important. Burglars would rather go into somewhere that is unoccupied, rather than run the risk of confrontation. People should make sure their homes are secure. If they are going out, look back at the house and see if it looks unoccupied.
“If so, it could be a target for burglary.
“Intelligent use of timer switches are proving a useful tool to give the impression there is somebody at home. Burglaries when people are home are very rare.
“People should not get complacent. There is a countdown now until the clocks go back, they need to be vigilant.
“Now is the time to review home security.”
Police are following up on three incidents in the last 24 hours, two burglaries in Abbeydale and one in Coopers Edge.
Pat Dabbs, from Safer Gloucester, hopes the success of Operation Switch will encourage more Neighbourhood Watch Groups to establish in the city.
“We have asked ex-offenders and they have said they would not choose to break into a house that was involved in a neighbourhood watch scheme,” she said.
Police are appealing to witnesses who may have seen suspicious activity following a burglary in Bowly Road last week.
A house there was raided sometime between 10.30pm on Thursday, October 17 and 5.45am on Friday, October 18.
Electrical items including an Apple iPad, Packard Bell laptop, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii were taken. To pass on information to police, call 101.