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Police crackdown sees 10% drop in house burglaries


4:38pm 18th August 2011

Domestic burglaries in North Yorkshire and the City of York have been reduced by 10% after police launched a targeted campaign in May this year.

North Yorkshire Police stepped up the fight against burglars with the launch of Operation Haven, after figures for the beginning of this financial year showed a 13.8% increase in recorded offences compared to the same period last year.

The reduction equates to 77 fewer crimes, with 696 burglaries reported between April and 18 August 2011, compared to 773 for the same period last year.

Figures also show a month-by-month reduction from May to July, with an impressive 30% decrease in burglaries in July itself.

Detective Chief Inspector Heather Pearson, who leads Operation Haven, said:

“These results are very encouraging and demonstrate that Operation Haven is on track and achieving what we set out to do. However, we cannot be complacent and the operation will continue throughout the year and into 2012.

“The campaign is supported by every officer and staff member across the force and the reduction is testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.”

"Research shows that domestic burglary is one of the crimes most feared because it is so personally invasive. The targeting of your home, followed closely by the theft or damage of personal possessions often has devastating and lasting effect on the homeowners and their family, and also within the nearby community.

“With this in mind, we are doing everything we can to pre-empt offences by targeting known hotspots at particular times of the year when intelligence analysis shows certain crimes are likely to increase.”

Monthly reductions since the launch of Operation Haven:

Month    2011           2010         % Change
May         178             189             -5.8%
June        155             165             -6.1%
July          126             180             -30%

Police want to encourage homeowners to take even the most basic of crime prevention measures. Putting obstacles in the way of criminals greatly reduces your chance of becoming a victim of crime. Remember the basics:

  • Lock doors, windows, gates, garages, sheds and cars, even when you are at home.
  • Hide all valuables from view and remove valuable items from your vehicle, including sat-navs and mobile phones.


North Yorkshire Police have developed a range of crime prevention tools to help residents plan their home security.

Free app - HomeSecure – Pocket-sized Home security app
North Yorkshire Police have created a pocket-sized home security app for mobile phones, called HomeSecure which can be downloaded at http://homesecure.nyp.mobi

Home security survey
Police have also produced a DIY home security check-list designed to help residents assess their current security arrangements. To take the survey, please log on to www.northyorkshire.police.uk/haven

Nominated Neighbour Scheme
To help prevent distraction burglaries and rogue trader activities, North Yorkshire Police is promoting the Nominated Neighbour Scheme which encourages elderly and vulnerable residents to seek assistance from a trusted neighbour to help deal with cold callers.

For more information on the scheme please go to the North Yorkshire Police website - www.northyorkshire.police.uk/neighbour

If you have information about people committing this type of offence please contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7. If you would prefer to pass information anonymously you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Crime prevention advice – North Yorkshire Police website
There is also a range of crime prevention advice on the force website ranging from simple but effective tips, to a technical guide to the best types of locks to fit. Go to www.northyorkshire.police.uk

If you see a crime in progress, please dial 999, or to report a crime or if you have any information about suspected criminal activity, please call police on 0845 60 60 24 7. Or you can give information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and you could qualify for a cash reward. 


The most common types of burglary recorded in North Yorkshire are:

Sneak-in – opportunist and unplanned
Sneak-in burglaries tend to be committed by local offenders with a good knowledge of the local area. More often than not, these offences are opportunist with no pre-planning. Usually carried out by drug addicts to pay off their drug debts. They take full advantage of people who leave their valuables on show and doors and windows unlocked.

35% of all burglaries across England and Wales are committed by opportunist thieves.

  • Help to prevent these by hiding your valuables and locking all  doors, windows, gates, garages, sheds and cars, even when you are at home.


Two-in-one burglaries
"2 in 1 burglaries" are where the thieves break into a house to get their hands on the keys to vehicles parked on the drive. These offences tend to be organised and pre-planned and are usually committed by offenders from out of the county. Often the vehicles are stolen to order and only a small number are recovered, mainly in the West Yorkshire area.  The Harrogate, Craven and Selby districts are often targeted by this type of criminal, travelling over force borders from West Yorkshire.

  • Help prevent these by hiding your keys, bags and valuables out of site and away from windows, doors and anywhere on view from the outside.


Distraction burglaries
Distraction burglaries are where the householder is tricked by a caller into allowing them into their home with the intention to steal from the property or deceive the householder into parting with property or cash. This is particularly distressing crime as offenders often target the elderly or vulnerable.

Crimestoppers’ research shows the average age of a victim of distraction burglary is 81.
Victims of distraction burglary can suffer physically and emotionally with some suffering a decline in health as a result of the trauma caused.

North Yorkshire Police is the fourth best force in England and Wales for detecting distraction burglaries and led a national investigation into a prolific gang of distraction burglars. As a result three men from Middlesex were jailed for a total of 21 years earlier this year.

  • Help prevent these by using a door chain, don't let anyone in your house who are not expecting, sign up to our nominated neighbour scheme.


Forced entry
Forced entry burglaries are usually organised with an element of planning and targeting with the offenders having an idea of the property they wish to steal.  

  • Help prevent these by doing a full security survey of your property - log on to www.northyorkshire.police.uk


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