Spike in Suffolk burglaries is being taken very seriously by detectives, chief warns

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith of Suffolk police. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith of Suffolk police. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A spike in burglaries reported in Suffolk is being taken very seriously by detectives, a police chief warned, as he revealed 100 households were raided in December alone.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith's message to the public is to stay vigilant – he is urging the public to be their eyes and ears and see it, hear it, report it – but he also wants to make sure communities know criminals are being caught and dealt with.

Several high-profile burglary cases investigated by Suffolk police have ended with culprits behind bars, he said, including prolific burglar Stan Smith, 23, and of no fixed address, who was jailed for eight years in December for raids at homes in Snape, Halesworth and Lowestoft.

Det Supt Smith said: 'There has been a spike in home burglaries in December, our most recent figures show there were around 100 or so reported to us. Year on year this is actually a decrease, we had 159 in December 2016 in comparison, but is still far too many and we are doing our best to crack down on it.

'Dwelling burglary is a crime we take very seriously here in Suffolk, and we are taking the rise equally seriously as you can see from the number of criminals we have managed to punish and get jailed in recent months.

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'People do need to be vigilant, and we always ask them to try and call us as soon as possible to preserve forensic evidence.

He added: 'If CCTV is installed it's even better because identifying suspects is easier.'

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The police chief is also keen to make sure residents lock doors, windows and gates, leave low-energy lights on timers around their houses, install visible burglar alarms and keep valuables in a locked safe to reduce the risk of their home being targeted.

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, said he was aware some people in the county felt the rise in burglaries was due to a perceived lack of bobbies on the beat.

He added: 'First of all I fully understand how upsetting and traumatic burglary can be. I want to reassure people that we are doing everything we can.

'Making sure we address this perceived lack of visibility in police officers is right on the top of my list of priorities from feedback I have received at public meetings across Suffolk.

'They will be getting that reassurance about visibility soon, I can tell you that.'

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