Over the last 5 years there has been a steady decrease in crime equating to about 30% in Melton or 1000 less victims. This is great news but there are still too many victims of crime and alarmingly we are now seeing a rise in the numbers in certain types particularly car crime and burglaries. You may be reading this as one of those victims and reductions will mean nothing to you. The theft of Stu Sparling’s wheelchair brought home to us the profound effect crime has even when we are so accustomed to dealing with it. I want to thank everyone who helped with that burglary and it reminded us that the majority of people are good law abiding decent members of our community and it was heartening to read some of the comments on Face Book.
I wanted to use this month’s article to focus on what you can do to help reduce the chance of becoming a victim and what plans we have to bring those responsible to justice. Far too many crimes have happened through opportunism where doors have been left unlocked and cars left with valuables on show. Very often people do not mark their property or have the serial numbers. This week we made 2 arrests and executed a warrant in Old Dalby where a ‘shed’ load of property was recovered ranging from lawn mowers to bikes to generators and the like –we now have the mammoth task of proving this property is stolen to bring a case to court. There are some simple measures you can take. You can register your property for free on the National Property Register www.immobilise.com which is searched by the police when property is recovered. For a small charge they supply stickers to apply to your property indicating the items are recorded –whilst this may not stop the theft it may mean you get the items back and allows the police to bring successful prosecutions. Join the Neighbourhood Watch –we regularly supply info for members so you are better informed of the crime picture. My last article encourages people to phone us if they see people acting suspiciously and we would also encourage you to tell us about any intelligence about who is doing this. If you are not confident to contact the police you can use Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555111
Sheds are now being targeted but again there are some simple steps you can take. Buy a decent padlock and battery powered shed alarm. You can contact the police station as we have small supply of locks. Mark your strimmers and lawn mowers with your house number and post code in permanent marker; chain expensive items to a fixed point again this may deter a would be thief. We are now seeing the hinges being unscrewed –coach bolts will stop this and we are offering free coach bolts at the police station and council offices which will be available in the next week to repeat victims of shed breaks where this has happened. These bolts can also be obtained from any hardware shop and are not that expensive
The majority of this type of crime is committed by a small number of criminals and we work with other agencies to manage these people who often have a drugs habit that drives them in their offending. A lot of multi-agency work goes on in this arena and if you are someone who is committing crime there is help available if you want it. The Safer Melton Partnership starts a project shortly where all the partners will be visiting victims of burglary and their neighbours to work with them around crime prevention measures. You will read in the paper last week a number of justice outcomes and we will continue to try and bring offenders before the courts. We recently charged 2 people with handling stolen goods from 2 of the recent burglaries and I will report more on this when I am able