Local News | Police Launch Burglary Campaign | Andover & VillagesWe are reinforcing our commitment to tackle burglary across the county as we launch our burglary campaign today (Monday 6 November).

The campaign which runs from 6 November to 12 November aims to educate residents about the simple precautions that can be taken to protect their home, and the improvements we as a Force are making to combat burglary.

To improve the security in and around your home we are asking residents to remember the following advice:

Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even if you’re in the garden, and make sure you have approved locks or bolts on all doors and windows Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like in a plant pot or letterbox – a thief knows all the hiding places

Keep all keys, purses and wallets out of sight and away from the letterbox Consider installing a burglar alarm, and only use a company that is registered or certified with the NSI or the SSIAB

Do not open the door to anyone you don’t know or are not expecting. Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window

Make sure that you have up to date contents insurance

Register all serial numbers from electrical items, tools and garden equipment with Immobilise.com (the free national property register). Mark items without serial numbers with an artificial DNA property marker such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA

Do not keep large amounts of cash at home – it is much safer in a bank or building society Trim back any plants and hedges at the front of your property to no higher than 1 metre to remove hiding places

Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel

Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when you are not at home

Take photographs of all jewellery including hallmarks and keep them safe. Also consider using an artificial DNA property marker on jewellery or other valuable items

Make sure any bolts are low enough so they cannot be opened by reaching over the top of the gate.

Detective Superintendent Sarah Robbins Head of County Crime said: “After a recent evaluation into our burglary processes it became apparent that this was an issue that needed to improve.

“We have recognised and accepted these issues and are now pro-actively putting into practice the recommendations made. We have introduced the Community Tasking Team (CTT) – a dedicated resource to not only tackle burglary, but all priority crimes. CTT’s main focus at the moment is improving our dwelling burglary processes and clamping down on offenders.

“The local community remain a vital resource for us in tackling burglary. Throughout this campaign we want to remind everyone of the simple precautions that can be taken to protect your home, as well as our top tips on what to do if you have been burgled.

“If you see anything or anyone suspicious in your neighbourhood, unknown or unexpected doorstep traders, or unusual vehicles – please report it to us via 101”.

Crime Scene Investigation information

If you have been burgled we urge you to consider the following tips from our Crime Scene Investigation team:

– Phone the police immediately on 101 or in an emergency call 999

– Where possible minimise what you touch, especially near the point of entry or items that you believe may have been touched by the offenders

– If you suspect the offender is still inside the property – do not enter, advise the police of this when you ring. Confronting the offender can place you in immediate danger

– If it is practical wait at a neighbour’s house until the police arrive. If you do need to enter the property; try to locate to one area and try to minimise movement around the house

– Fingerprints, DNA and footwear marks may not be visible so try to avoid walking on smooth, shiny flooring and touching anything that the offender may have touched or handled

– If you find something that you suspect may have been used in the burglary as it was not there previously, point this out to the police

– Preserving evidence is vital. If the item is outside cover the item with a box or something similar to shield it from the elements until the police arrive. Do not touch the item. If you see blood, try to cover this without touching it

– Remember not all items have forensic value. The police are professionally trained to know what items can be used to obtain forensic evidence, do not be upset if a particular item that you think may contain forensic value, is dismissed by police. The most common types of forensic evidence found at crime scenes are fingerprints, DNA and footwear marks.

Community Tasking Team (CTT)

The Community Tasking Team (CTT) is a new dedicated resource that will not only tackle burglary, but all priority crimes. The CTTs main focus at the moment is on improving our dwelling burglary processes and clamping down on offenders.

The CTT will be working closely with existing local community policing teams, and with specialist Crime Scene Investigators (CSI), to ensure the biggest possible impact is made on prolific offenders who blight the lives of our local communities.

Suspicious activity in your area? Report it.

Have you seen any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood? Call the police on 101 if you see any of the following:

– Anything suspicious or anyone acting suspicious in your neighbourhood

– Unknown or unexpected doorstep traders – description and dates are vital pieces of information

– Unusual vehicles – vehicle description, registration numbers and direction of travel are vital pieces of information.

If you have any information about offenders or see something suspicious, please call Wiltshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency dial 999.

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at