Spike In Calcot Burglaries

A team's been put together to try and stop a "disproportionate" number of burglaries in an area in West Berkshire.

Home burglaries have gone up by 31 percent in the Holybrook area of Calcot.

From August 2009 to July 2010 there were 57 but the following year there were 75 - that's despite figures going down by 2.4 percent in West Berkshire.

12 percent of burglaries in West Berkshire have been in Calcot, even though only 5 percent of the population lives there.

Inspector Andy Ward from Thames Valley Police says they are putting the team together because they're expecting a spike in the run up to Christmas.

But he's told Heart people in the community need to get more involved and help officers catch the criminals.

"A resident has actually seen someone carrying a 50-inch television along the street in the middle of the night but hasn't actually bothered to report it and a neighbour has reported seeing three people breaking into his neighbour's property but didn't ring in, didn't report it.

"They're not giving police a fighting chance of actually catching these people in these situations if they don't report it."

Sergeant Paula Morgan's heading up the Calcot Burglary Reduction team and hopes more witnesses will come forward.

"The fear of reprisals I think is quite big with witnesses and victims, however there is a lot of things we can do for the court procedures for vulnerable and intimidated victims which should help protect them and make the system easier for them."

The team hopes to work with the Youth Offending Team, neighbourhood wardens, council and the neighbourhood policing teams to try and prevent an increase in burglaries.

And with thieves using letterboxes to get into homes a quarter of the time - there's going to be a focus on residents being more security conscious.

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