Bedfordshire Gets More 'Bobby Men'

18 February 2010, 06:58 | Updated: 18 February 2010, 11:35

A Bedfordshire team helping crime victims has taken on new members after a sharp rise in demand.

The Bobby Men fit things like spy holes and door chains for elderly and vulnerable people who've been burgled, as well as sanctuary rooms for domestic violence victims. In 2003, they were getting about 23 referrals for domestic violence but last year it was as high as 200.

Founder Brian Prickett told Heart how and when a Sanctuary Room is installed: “This is the really serious end of cases, when people have been very seriously attacked, the offender’s been put in prison for it, and sometimes people in prison have even threatened the victim again. So that’s why we go to that extent. We install when a violent partner is no longer living at home, but has threatened, has come back to the property and tried to get in, possibly even broken in. The secure room gives the victim somewhere to go and call 999.”

You can hear Louise Parry's full interview with Brian Prickett by clicking here...

Now a grant from the Home Office and Beds police authority means they can take on extra muscle.

From March 1st, Gary Brookes joins the other new arrival, John Haggerwood, who started in September. The pair join stalwart Bobby Men Roger Tuck, the longest-serving, Graham Smith who started 7 years ago and Mark coles who’s in his third year. They’re all experienced carpenters and are in demand pretty much every day around Bedfordshire.

Statistics show the chances of an elderly person becoming a repeat victim of burglary drop from 14% to 1% if they have had a visit from the scheme. The Bobby Men also give out advice about keeping your home secure.