An operation to protect York residents against a new garage burglary ‘exploit’ saw dozens of properties visited and more than 100 items security marked in a single night.
On Tuesday 15 September, one police officer and eight PCSOs from York North Safer Neighbourhood Team, boosted by the support of 12 Special Constables, took to the streets of Rawcliffe.
The clampdown follows a significant rise in burglaries in the area, often involving offenders exploiting a weakness in certain garage doors in order to steal property, particularly pedal cycles.
Residents in the Rawcliffe area were shown how criminals commit such burglaries, and given advice on how to simply and effectively secure their garages in response.
Officers also brought with them three ‘dot peen’ marking kits which were made available to residents to get their property security marked and registered. In total, 66 bikes were marked, as well as 17 tablets, 12 laptops and 11 other items including phones and guitars.
Officers visited every property in Beaverdyke, Angram Close, Leighton Croft, Eldwick Close, Swinsty Court, Chelkar Way, Baden Court, Fewston Drive, Lindley Road, Barnby Close, Ebsay Drive, Lanshaw Croft, Redmires Close, Whitley Close, Haythorth Close, Handley Close, Wellesley Close and Bransholme Drive.
When there was no answer, a letter was posted through the door offering crime prevention advice and inviting people to a dot peen property marking drop-in session on 26 September 2015 at Clifton Moor Church and Community Centre from 6pm to 8pm. More information about dot peen is available at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/whatisdotpeen
PC Steve Gillespie, of York North Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “I’d like to stress the importance of adding additional security measures to your garages to ensure that you too do not become a burglary victim.
“I strongly recommend the installation of security measures such as garage defenders or ground anchors. I am sure the cost of having to replace stolen items will far outweigh the cost of installing this equipment.
“Furthermore, allowing the police to mark your items – such as pedal cycles, gardening tools, golfing equipment, mobile phones and almost anything else you can think of – ensures that our chances of reuniting you with your property, should it be lost or stolen, are greatly increased. It also assists us in ensuring that the North Yorkshire Police area remains the safest place in England.”
The crime prevention campaign will continue, and officers have stepped up patrols in the area, including patrols in marked and unmarked vehicles, and on marked and unmarked bikes throughout the night.
Anyone who sees any suspicious activity is urged to report it to the police immediately. Such reports assist officers in preventing crime and catching offenders with stolen property in their possession.
PC Gillespie praised the contribution of North Yorkshire Police Special Constables, volunteers with the same powers as full-time police officers: “Without the support of our colleagues from the Special Constabulary giving up their midweek evening to assist these patrols, it would not have been possible to visit as many people, on as many streets, or to have marked as much property as we did.”
Two boys, aged 16 and 14, were arrested on 13 September on suspicion of burgling a garage in the Rawcliffe area. Both have been released on bail pending further enquiries.