More than 1 in 10 burglaries on Essex homes are not the first break-in
More than one in 10 house burglaries in Essex are repeat raids on an already targeted home, new figures have revealed.
Between January 2008 and December 2013 there were 35,725 home burglaries, of which 3,569 – 11.1% – were targeted more than once.
Essex Police was ranked as the seventh worst force in the country for the statistic, following a Freedom of Information request to all 43 forces in England and Wales.
However, only 25 forces responded.
The highest repeat rate was in Northamptonshire where almost one in three burglaries were on premises already targeted, while the national average was 8.6%.
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The survey of police forces was carried out by security firm ADT and charity Victim Support.
Karen Froggatt, director at Victim Support, said: “Getting burgled once can be devastating, but to be burgled multiple times is, understandably, extremely difficult for victims to recover from.
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“Repeat victimisation can have a long-lasting and widespread impact on people’s lives. That’s why it’s so important that victims of burglary can get practical help and have someone to talk to, when they do experience this awful crime.”
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Burglaries are distressing for the victims and can also be linked to other types of offending. Essex Police is determined to continue driving down these offences and bring those responsible to justice.
“Essex Police launched Operation Insight in October 2013 in an attempt to combat house burglaries by using predictive policing. Officers use intelligence to identify where future burglaries are most likely to occur and then use a range of tactics to prevent them from happening.
“These include patrols in higher risk areas and visiting householders in close proximity to burgled houses to offer advice and reassurance.
“This work has resulted in a reduction in house burglaries from 4,045 between October 2013 and March 2014 compared to 4,483 between October 2012 and March 2013.
“Between April 2014 and March 2015 – the first full year of Op Insight – a total of 6,792 burglaries were reported. This is a drop of 755 compared with the previous 12 months, which included six months of Op Insight.”
The force also reminded residents to keep windows and doors locked, anchor sheds to the ground and padlock them, use timed lights and a burglar alarm to deter intruders, and consider a gravel drive and thorny hedge around their property – while ensuring the front door is visible to passers-by.
Suffolk Constabulary did not respond to the FoI request.