Concerns raised over recent rise in number of burglaries in the area

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What was described as a ‘worrying rise’ in burglaries was top of the agenda at a recent meeting with police and a local political representative

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart held the meeting with local police commanders to discuss incidents across the constituency.

With a stretch on police resources due to other campaigns on the lead up to the festive period the Upper Bann representative wanted to ensure there are sufficient resources for visible mobile patrols in urban and rural areas.

After meeting with Chief Inspector Jon Burrows and Detective Inspector Stephen Harvey, Ms Lockhart said, “The run up to Christmas always has the potential to be used by criminals to bring misery to householders. Safety and security begins at home and I would urge everyone to be mindful not to leave any opportunity for thieves to break in.

“Undoubtedly even if you take steps to protect your property burglars can find a way round this and get into your property.

“The police have assured me that they have assigned extra resource to anti burglary patrols which is very welcome and reassuring for residents of the area but if you do see anything suspicious make sure and call the police on 101 or 999.”

Sge added: “Last weekend saw 10 burglaries in a space of one night. It would appear that there is a mix of local and travelling organised burglars. It is important we all act as eyes and ears and watch out for our neighbours properties.”

Police are urging residents to take steps to protect their property and reduce their risk of becoming a victim of crime this Christmas.

Some recent incidents, they said, involved thieves targeting older individuals and people are being asked to keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives during the festive period.

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: “Officers are aware of the impact that burglaries can have on individual householders and with Christmas approaching we would remind people it is not a time of rest for criminals; they too are doing their Christmas shopping, looking to gain advantage at your expense.

“Don’t make it easy for them, stay alert to your surroundings and report anything suspicious to police immediately. When you get home, keep your presents safe. Everyone likes to see Christmas presents around a tree, but make sure that no one can see them from outside. It is important to ensure you always lock your doors and windows at night and when out to secure those high value items you may have at Christmas.

“We will continue with our regular anti-burglary patrols and are encouraging everyone to report suspicious activity to us – no matter how insignificant it may seem, the report of a suspicious vehicle or people acting strangely in your neighbourhood can help us to prevent and detect crime.

“We would like all of you to help us spread the message. Talk to your family and neighbours about the top ten tips and the simple measures you can take to make your home more secure. Domestic burglary has been and will remain a priority for us.

“We are pleased to be able to promote the Top Ten Tips and help remind local people that they can take steps to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.”