Police alert over Christmas break-ins

St Helens Star: Police are warning people to secure their homes over Christmas Police are warning people to secure their homes over Christmas

AN operation aimed at stemming burglaries in the run-up to Christmas will see police target prolific offenders and crime hot spots.

Senior officers set out their plans following reports of a series of particularly distressing break-ins which saw houses raided as relatives visited loved ones in hospital and a hospice.

In one incident at Broad Oak Road, distinctive jewellery was stolen from a house as a husband visited his wife in hospital.

In an unrelated burglary, crooks struck at a house on Deepdale Drive, Rainhill and stole precious photographs – which were stored on a digital camera – as a pensioner was visiting his dying partner at Willowbrook Hospice.

Detectives are warning the public that intruders will target insecure homes, typically where doors or windows have been left open at the back or upstairs of a property.

The operation will intensify the focus on areas of town where burglaries at their highest and see the number of officers, in plain clothes and uniform, patrolling crime ‘hot spots’ increased.

There will be swifter turnarounds on results of forensic evidence, including tests on footwear, fingerprints and checks for DNA.

Chief Inspector Martin Woosey urged the public to play their part in making sure their homes are not easy targets.

He said: “We continue to find that UPVC doors with ‘paddle’ handles are being left insecure. I think there is a lack of understanding that these kind of doors have to be locked with a key or they are not really locked at all.

“And of course if your house is not secure, it might not be covered by your insurance.

“Everyone has an important role to play in preventing crime. We all lead busy lives but, by taking a few extra seconds to check our homes are secure, our cars are locked and valuables are not left on display, we can all play our part in fighting burglaries across St Helens.”

For more information contact police on 101 and ask to speak to your neighbourhood team. Alternatively, if you have any information for the police, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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