Police Ready for Rise in Burglaries

Thames Valley Police have told Heart they're prepared for a rise in burglaries this month, with people likely to be hit harder than ever before.

For the last three Decembers in a row there has been a rise in burglaries across the Thames Valley, compared to other times of the year.

Although overall the number of break-ins is down nearly 20% on the last three years, officers have told Heart they still see an increase over December.

Last December there were 889 burglaries reported across the Thames Valley. This is above the monthly average, but down on 1094 in December 2008.

Inspector Squire, from Bracknell, said burglary victims were likely to feel the effects more than ever before, because of the economic situation:

"I know that if an awful lot of people get burgled this year, they haven't renewed their home insurance. So while you might think this is a victimless crime because people can claim off their home insurance, it most certainly isn't.

"There will be an awful lot of people who will be in a bad (financial) situation this year. So I think the effects of the burglary might be worse because people won't have the cash to replace the presents they've had stolen."

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Thames Valley Police are now making a big effort to let people know about the risk of burglary this Christmas, so that they can prepare themselves against becoming victims.

Advice includes investing in a timer to connect to a radio, TV or lamp to make your home look occupied.

Police are also asking people to make sure the presents under their Christmas tree can't be seen through the window.