Crime in Thames Valley down due to 'Trap Houses'

26 March 2010, 12:36 | Updated: 26 March 2010, 12:38

Thames Valley Police say domestic burglaries have dropped fifteen per cent since they started using 'trap houses' to catch criminals in the act.

They’re doing it by using high-tech equipment, including CCTV camera and tracking equipment, thanks to a £2 million cash boost.

The money, from the Securing Homes programme was allocated to 16 forces across the country, including Thames valley, to buy technology to improve burglary detection.

Some of the items purchased by forces included automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, tacking equipment, forensic scanners, intruder alarms, CCTV and property marking kits.

So far the money has lead to police catching more criminals quicker.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Thompson, from Thames Valley Police has been telling Heart that he saw one house burgled within days of setting up ‘trap houses’:

“I got the call saying that it’s been hit. We identified the offender fairly quickly and made the arrest and obviously initially where it came across as the offender was denying all knowledge of the offence, on being shown the image he had no other option than to admit the crime.”

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell has said:

“Burglary has fallen by 54% since 1997 and these are encouraging signs that our pro-active approach to crimes like burglary is having an impact. However we can still do more and this funding is just one part of a wider strategy to ensure this downward trend continues.

“This new equipment will not only help police catch the criminals who harm communities, it will help prevent crime as well. Once burglars realise the home they’re breaking into might be covered by hidden cameras they might start to think twice.”