Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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BURGLARS WARNED BY PCC THAT BEDFORDSHIRE POLICE ARE CLOSING THE NET
Burglars and would-be offenders have been warned by Bedfordshire's Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) - Kathryn Holloway - that the Force is closing the net on them.

Following a spike in offences in Luton last month, Bedfordshire Police's Operation Fidelity team is working hard to identify key offending patterns and gather evidence to bring those responsible to justice which has already resulted in a spate of arrests. The Force has increased patrols in hotspot areas in and around the town, and continues to act swiftly on intelligence received about criminal activity.

Speaking at a public meeting held at Farley Community Centre, Luton yesterday (5 April), the PCC announced: "Domestic burglaries are taken very seriously by Bedfordshire Police. Every burglary is horrific for the victims and I won't ignore that in anyway, but I need to reassure people that break-ins are far less common than feared.

"The Force is on the case of burglars and working in some really imaginative ways such as visiting known prolific burglars who have restriction on their movements to make sure they are at home and not out burgling yours. As a result the net is closing in on them as we have seen in the very recent set of arrests."

Much of the work being carried out to reduce burglaries is by Operation Fidelity Bedfordshire Police's dedicated team, which works to disrupt, arrest and prosecute burglars. It focuses on high-risk locations providing advice to the vulnerable, and working with trading standards officers to target those who sell stolen goods.

Launched in 2015, Op Fidelity is Bedfordshire Police's dedicated response to burgalry and robbery, made up of officers from various areas of the Force to tackle these issues. Where they identify a spike in burglaries, they conduct Operation Cocoon visits to affected streets in order to alert residents to the offences and help provide crime prevention advice and tools. In addition, burglary response surgeries are often held in response to any increase in crimes in a particular area.

The Force recently secured a six year sentence for a prolific burglar who pleaded guilty to ten counts of burglary and one count of handling stolen goods. Leroy McKenna, of Burnham Road, Luton, was sentenced after committing a string of offences in Luton.

Speaking at the meeting in Farley, Bedfordshire Police Inspector Jim Goldsmith said: "Burglary is a priority for the Force, and want to reassure the public that we remain absolutely committed to apprehending those responsible. We understand the impact that burglaries have on victims and how distressing they can be - nobody has the right to enter someone else's home uninvited or under false pretences and make them feel unsafe. We are dedicated to increasing patrols in hotspot areas which I hope will help provide some reassurance to residents."

Police Officers are also issuing crime prevention advice to residents in areas where the perception of burglaries has increased, ensuring members of the public are aware of the steps they can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime.

Bedfordshire Police urges anyone with any information about burglaries in their area to call them on 101. The public's help is vital in helping find the people responsible, and they will act swiftly on intelligence received about criminal activity in the communities of Bedfordshire.