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The number of thefts from beach huts in Poole has fallen thanks to action taken by the Parkstone, Penn Hill and Canford Cliffs Safer Neighborhood Team.
Following an increase in reports in June, police officers stepped up their patrols - accompanied on several occasions by a police sniffer dog -and worked with beach hut users to increase security. Officers from Borough of Poole have also been patrolling the beaches at key times.
As a result, there were two reported thefts from beach huts in July this year, compared to 10 reports (some relating to thefts from multiple beach huts) in June. There has been one theft so far in August.
Beach hut users across the Borough have been invited to join a 'Hut Watch' scheme to receive messages from the police about local crimes, crime prevention advice and appeals for information. They have been offered reduced-price beach hut alarms and have been given advice about how to secure their beach hut against thieves.
Sergeant David Parr, of the Parkstone, Penn Hill and Canford Cliffs Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:
"I would advise beach hut users to secure their hut whenever it is not in use and to consider investing in a beach hut alarm.
"Never leave any valuables in your beach hut at night - offenders have been known to watch beach huts during the day to identify valuable items and then target those beach huts later that night.
"If you notice anything suspicious, please report it to a beach warden or the police by calling 101. If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, please dial 999."
Councillor Judy Butt, Portfolio Holder for Public Engagement and Participation, with direct responsibility for Poole communities, Borough of Poole, said:
"This is an excellent result that shows the value of partnership working. We will continue to work alongside the police to keep our beaches safe for everyone."
To contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team, call Dorset Police on 101 or visit www.dorset.police.uk