Monday, 23 October 2017

Police target estate in campaign to stop burglars

AN estate in Henley is being targeted by police to help reduce crime in the town.

AN estate in Henley is being targeted by police to help reduce crime in the town.

The Gainsborough estate has been identified as being home to criminals or their associates and officers have been patrolling the area and knocking on doors.

There was a small rise in burglaries in the Henley area at the end of last year.

Insp Mark Harling, head of Henley police, says he is “leaving no stone unturned” in the pursuit of criminals.

In an open letter to town councillors, he said: “Intelligence can be sketchy but there are people who live in the town who it is suggested are involved in criminal activity.

“We have a list of them and each and every day a police officer visits them in order that we can provide support to help keep them on the straight and narrow.

“Every opportunity should be taken to engage with these people and encourage them not to commit crime. Offers of help and support in combating drug addictions and any other social ills they may be suffering from are made and they are directed towards help should they request it.

“The people we visit are not necessarily keen on such attention — however we continue to make the visits.”

Eight people from Henley who have been involved in committing burglary have been, or are being, evicted from their homes.

Insp Harling says the Henley area is a target for burglars because it is easily accessible. He said: “Criminals... can easily drive to the town or a village, enter a possibly insecure house, steal property and then leave.

“Some of the criminals who commit crime in this area come from Reading but recently our sense is that some of the crimes have been committed by local people.

“I hope that you will accept from me that we are not leaving any stone unturned and we are taking every opportunity that the law allows us.

“Analysis has been done on where burglaries have taken place — we find that this type of analytical work can help inform us as to where we should spend some of our time reinforcing messages and assisting people to keep their homes safe.”

Insp Harling says the majority of crimes used to happen in rural areas but now more are happening in the town centre.

He said: “Officers are detailed each and every day to patrol the areas and roads where we feel that there is the possibility of burglaries taking place. This is high- visibility patrolling and also plain clothes work.”

Leaflets and newsletters offering home security advice have been delivered to houses and Insp Harling said he was working with the Standard in a bid to deter crime and to advise the public.

He added: “This is an area of crime where we need to be constantly on our guard.

“Every single burglary is visited by a police officer and then a forensic re-investigation is undertaken by the CID to ensure that nothing is missed and that every investigative opportunity is taken.”

To help combat burglary, you can join a neighbourhood watch group. You can report a crime to the police on 101 or anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

David Eggleton, who launched a campaign last year to tidy up the Gainsborough estate, welcomed the extra police presence.

He said: “The community support officers do come round and are friendly and I think their presence does help. It is much better than it was before when we hardly saw any police officers up here.”

Mr Eggleton, of Gainsborough Road, added: “It is also good to get feedback through the Standard.e_SDRq

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