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Police Talk with Sergeant Sarah Widdowson

Added: Monday 30th April 2012 09:28:07 AM

Police Talk with Sergeant Sarah Widdowson

On Tuesday 17th April 2012 in police talk we were joined by Sergeant Sarah Widdowson from Belgrave Police Station. She came in to discuss the rise in burglaries for Asian Gold in and around the Keyham Lane area.

Good morning Sarah what is today's topic of discussion?

We need to discuss burglaries again, it's a re-occurring issue not just in the Belgrave area but also in the whole area that is covered by Keyham Lane which is the Rushy Mead area and Hamilton area. We will also be talking about crime prevention.

Has there been a rise in break-ins in these areas?

We have identified that there has been an increase in burglaries in the last month or so. The burglaries are mostly occurring where particularly Asian gold is being targeted. There were seven burglaries targeting Asian gold last month and this month there has been eleven burglaries. This increase seems to be coinciding with the wedding season where people are starting to collect their gold from the banks and perhaps having more gold around the house.

Have you put any special measures in place to stop this occurring?

To combat this rise of burglaries we have introduced some special patrols in the Keyham Lane area. The special control that patrols consists of two police vehicles with two police officers in each, patrolling the main routes around the area every day. They will stop and check any vehicles that appear to be suspicious and anyone who the police have intelligence on to suggest that they are committing these types of burglaries. We believe that there are organised groups coming in particularly to target high populations of Asian people where they think there is going to be large amounts of gold. So we are asking EAVA FM listeners to be extra vigilant and to phone the police if they see anything suspicious. We want people to be nosey neighbours, so look out for your neighbours, lookout for what's going on in your street and if you see anything unusual then give us a ring.

What if people are worried about phoning the police and may feel they are wasting police time?

We would rather have 10 calls which are calls of good intent where people had phoned us because they think they have seen a couple of men acting suspiciously and we can check those people out to make sure everything is okay than to be answering a call and someone has had our house broken into. If in doubt give us a call.

What should we be looking out for?

We are mainly looking for vehicles and their occupants who perhaps look suspicious. These criminals could be driving powerful, fast, expensive high powered cars and they could be wearing smart clothes, so you really need to consider that these criminals may not necessarily be scruffily dressed. There may even be groups of two or three people wearing smartly dressed suits. They're aim will be to come and target an area where they can blend in. These criminals are professionals and they use this as a method to be able to commit crime because they are not likely to aroused suspicion. Anyone you don't recognise please give us a ring.

With banks bringing an end to security boxes is it now safe to consider keeping a safe in your home?

There have been burglaries where Safes in houses have been targeted so although it does still happen, it just makes it a bit more difficult for criminals. If you do decide to have a safe in your home you must make sure that you don't tell anyone that you have it and to just have a couple of key people in your family know the location of it. It is also important to try and think of a place to keep your safe that would not be considered as obvious.

Is it important to always make a list of your belongings?

Yes, you should always keep a record of all of your belongings. You must make sure that you have a record of everything that you have. If you have valuable jewellery, you should take pictures of it and keep a record of how much it's worth and where you have bought it from. With regards to electrical goods make sure that you write down all of your serial numbers keep them all together in a folder. We have in the past caught burglars a short distance from where the burglary has occurred. We then have two prove that the property is from a particular address. So if people are able to show pictures and serial numbers that it's their property then it helps us to match the property back to the person.

Is there an alternative to writing long lists on paper?

There is a free registering service website www.immobilise.com whereby people can register their property. Immobilise can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets, and exclusive to Immobilise all account holders registered items and ownership details are viewable on the Police national property database the NMPR.

Any further advice for our EAVA listeners?

People must check and make sure that they have adequate household insurance and it reflects the upstate value of their gold jewellery and other property that they have in their home.

Do you have any advice for general household security?

Yes, before you go to bed make sure that all doors and windows are secure even if you're just popping around to a neighbours make sure that you keep your doors and windows locked and have a look at getting some timer light and timer switches for your lamps so that it looks like someone is always in.

How can our EAVA FM listeners contact you?

I am based at Belgrave Police Station. I am the neighbourhood police Sergeant for Belgrave and Latimer area. The police station has a front office where people can come into from Monday to Friday 10am-6pm. We also have a neighbourhood office at the Belgrave neighbourhood centre where my office is. I am there most days from 11.30am-12.30pm which is a drop-in for people to come and talk to us.

Any final messages for our listeners?

Be aware and stay safe!

For more information just call 101 or 2222222 to contact the police or log onto the website www.leics.police.uk.

Written by Nicola Padilla & Uploaded by VZONE Multimedia