Police warn residents to step up security after 42 break-ins in Fenland this month

A SPATE of burglaries in Wisbech has taken the number of break-ins in Fenland to 42 this month.

Police, who believe some of the offences are linked, are warning residents to step up their security.

The majority of the 42 July incidents have occurred in Wisbech, during the day and overnight. Many have been break-ins through rear patio doors.

The most recent was overnight on Saturday in Felsted Avenue, where keys to a silver BMW were stolen.

Detective Inspector Dave Murphy said: “We are determined, as ever, to catch those responsible and we have a plan that includes covert patrols. Each burglary will be fully investigated.

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“I would also appeal to anyone with information to get in touch and for residents to remain alert to any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood.

“Burglars will be looking for any insecurities in properties and there are steps residents can take to prevent themselves becoming a victim.”

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Residents are advised to take the following precautions:

*Always keep doors and windows closed and locked or in a ventilated but locked position, even when you are inside the house. Always check and lock doors with a key - never assume that just pushing up an internal handle will lock the door.

*Remove keys from window and door locks, but keep them in a familiar and safe place where all members of the family know where to find them in the event of an emergency.

*Never leave items such as keys, bags and money on show through a window, as these can prove a real temptation for an opportunist burglar.

*Consider the position of key racks or shelves next to a door and ensure that they cannot be reached through the letter box.

*Use timer switches to turn on lights and radios when you are going to be away from your house at dusk.

*Consider the use of lights at the front and rear of your property that are activated when someone approaches.

*Consider the use of bolts and padlocks on side gates. Place the bolts at the top, middle and bottom of the gate, as just a top bolt might be easy to reach and open.

*Consider chaining together all high value items stored in outbuildings, as this will make it harder for them to be removed. Also consider the use of a wireless alarm or link your shed or garage into an existing home intruder alarm system.

*Consider property marking your valuable and sentimental personal possessions with liquid DNA kits such as Smartwater, SelectaDNA or with an engraving kit for items such as tools and cycles.

*A visible intruder alarm box can prove to be one of the biggest deterrents to an opportunist burglar, so consider installing a DIY or supplier installed system.

* Homeowners are urged to check their home insurance policies to ensure their property meets the security standards required. Insurance companies often refuse to pay out if properties do not meet these standards or are left unsecured.

For more information on how to secure your home and property log onto the Home Office website - www.homeoffice.gov.uk, which also has a three minute test that will score your level of protection and offer appropriate advice.

Alternatively, please log onto the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website - www.cambs.police.uk or the Crime Reduction Website - www.crimereduction.gov.uk.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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