Operation Bumblebee targets burglars as nights draw in
With the nights drawing in, the Metropolitan Police Service is unveiling a new approach to tackling burglars who use the darker nights to burgle more homes. At the same time, the Met wants to remind Londoners of the practical steps they can take in making their homes more secure.
Operation Bumblebee will see boroughs target their resources to detecting where burglars may strike and arresting suspects in efforts to tackle the traditional spike of these offences at this time of the year. Overall, burglary is down by 7.4% however as the clocks go back there is a seasonal trend for it to increase over the period from September to December.
The Met is introducing a tough new approach to improving performance in investigating and tackling burglary through the creation of 'Area Bumblebee Teams' who will be made up of experienced and specialised officers. The teams will be able to work across borough boundaries, co-ordinate search activity for outstanding suspects, manage an improved forensic strategy and work in partnership with the Met's Territorial Support Group (TSG) and the London Crime Squad to bring offenders to justice.
Safer Neighbourhoods teams will raise awareness of burglary through their street briefings and surgeries to offer advice and guidance on measures the public can take to secure their homes - these crime prevention steps can be as simple as installing a light timer to turn the lights on while you are out to deter potential thieves.
Second hand traders will also be approached by officers to sign up to a voluntary agreement to restrict the sale of stolen property and allow police to examine stock. These agreements will help to ensure second hand shops and stalls do not purchase stolen property and also mean customers will have an increased confidence in their purchases.
The Met will also be exploring other tactics such as predictive policing, which enables officers to identify where certain crimes are more likely to be repeated. It uses a specially designed computer algorithm to produce crime maps, which can then direct police officers to the areas where they are more likely to be successful in preventing and detecting burglary.
Commander Simon Letchford, the lead for Operation Bumblebee, said:
"Burglary is a distressing crime that can have lasting emotional effects on the victims, who no longer feel safe in their own homes. The Met feels strongly about preventing burglary and whilst burglary is down we want to continue that drop and bring those offenders before the courts. We want people to feel safe in their homes and in their communities and we are working hard to pursue those responsible. We are developing our systems to make sure we are one step ahead of the criminals and do all we can to catch them.
"Operation Bumblebee raises awareness of burglary and we encourage everyone to consider their home security. Speak to your local SNT officers or visit our web pages where you will find lots of helpful information on how to protect your home. Take a visit to our 'Virtual House', which is an online interactive tool that will take you through each room and provide you with valuable security advice."
Reminding Londoners to take measures to secure their homes can prevent the stressful and emotional distress that burglary can result in.
The Met is advising Londoners to:
* Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
* Make sure UPVC doors are properly locked with a key.
* Make sure the side and/or back gate is locked.
* Lock your shed or garage.
* Make sure that any valuables are out of sight.
* Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home.
* Don't leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, windows or your letterbox.
For more crime prevention tips and advice on how to make your home secure visit our burglary prevention section on our website or contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods team. In an emergency, always dial 999.
October 24, 2013