Police “staggered” by massive rise in Ockendon burglaries

POLICE across Ockendon, Belhus and Aveley are urging the public to increase home security after 38 burglaries have been reported in just four weeks.

Reports of burglary in these wards have increased quite substantially, after 38 were reported from November 1 to November 28, compared to 18 reports between October 1 to October 28.

Of these burglaries, a massive 74 per cent* saw burglars gain entry through the rear of the property, prompting police to urge residents to secure their gardens properly, particularly if they live in terraced houses or back onto alleys .

In one incident in Davis Road, Aveley, between 10.30am on Sunday, November 27 and 2pm the next day, a suspect gained entry through an insecure garden gate from an adjoining alleyway. They then forced open a rear door, causing £200 damage after the frame was damaged and a pane of glass smashed. No entry was gained to the property.

Police have been actively patrolling the area, and have been informing residents of ways to protect their home. Letters are currently being delivered to all households where windows have been left open, gates left open or if the property backs onto alleyways so they can take steps to help prevent being burgled.

Insp Anna Brennan, in charge of the neighbourhood policing teams for the affected areas, said: “The amount of burglaries that have been reported over the last month are staggering. Since noticing the increase, we have put additional patrols in place to curb further offences, but we need residents to help us by practising good home security. The burglaries have occurred during the day and at night and I would urge anyone who sees’s anything suspicious to ring us.

“We hope by advising residents that most of the burglaries have seen the suspects enter at the rear of the property, that they will ensure that all garden gates are fully secured with padlocks. Investing in home security lighting is also a good deterrent; no burglar wants to be seen and if they see security lights, they may think twice about targeting your address.”

Police are also advising residents to make sure all doors and windows are locked properly. A number of properties have also had their keys stolen through the letter box, so police are advising residents to hide their keys in a safe place out of view from windows and doors, only accessible to family members in the event of a fire.

As part of their crackdown, police are also targeting known prolific offenders, and visiting their addresses every day to ensure they know police will arrest them if they suspect them of being responsible.

Insp Brennan added: “By visiting known offenders, we can disrupt their daily activity, and we are letting them know that if we think they are responsible for the recent burglaries, we will arrest them and bring the full force of the justice system down upon them.”

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