THE Cherwell & West Oxfordshire Policing Team and partner agencies has launched the spring time burglary campaign in the local policing area.

As spring approaches and people start using their garden tools again, garden sheds, outbuildings and garages are a popular target for thieves as they are likely to contain expensive items such as lawn mowers, hedge cutters, pedal bikes and power tools.

The campaign which started on Thursday, will be running in addition to normal policing activities and runs until Saturday, April 5.

Officers and members of the Trading Standards will be offering vital crime prevention advice to raise awareness of the importance of securing your home, outbuildings and garages, during the spring period, at events in the district.

These include a crime prevention event run by The Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Team on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 from 10am to 5pmin Market Square, Chipping Norton.

Neighbourhood teams will also be leaving “Spring into action Secure your home” postcards at people’s homes to ensure the occupants receive some crime prevention tips.

Detective Inspector Claire Storry said: “This year we have worked extremely hard to keep the number of burglaries across the area exceedingly low.

"Cherwell and West Oxfordshire area remains one of the safest places to live and next year we will continue to strive to reduce the number of victims of crime and detect as many crimes as possible.

“This year so far we have had no increase in burglaries compared to last year and have solved 24.2 per cent of our reported burglary dwellings which is excellent news for the victims of these crimes as we have been able to re-unite them with much of their property.

“We ask that the public remain safety conscious by locking doors and windows and make it as difficult as possible for people to target them.

“We also rely on people being aware of what is happening in their local areas and reporting any suspicious behaviour straight away.

“There will also be messages sent out via Thames Valley Alert to residents with crime reduction advice, so I would urge people to sign up.”

PC Richie Iwanoff said: “In addition to the road show and events the Local Police Area will also be conducting a pro-active operation across the towns and villages.

“The operation, known as Operation Juggernaut, will involve a number of officers from Local CID, response and Neighbourhood Policing with support from officer from the Tactical Support Department. "A number of different tactics will be used to pro-actively patrol crime hot spot areas and target known burglary offenders. This operation will commence this month and run into early April”.

If anyone is seen acting suspiciously around a property or outbuilding call police on 101.

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