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Hertfordshire police up patrols after burglaries increase by 67% in year in the Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth area

Police are increasing patrols in the Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth areas after figures revealed the number of burglaries have increased over the past year by 67%.

Hertfordshire Police revealed between November 1, 2021 and October 31, 2022 there were 80 "recorded dwelling burglaries" in the area compared to 48 between November 1 2020 and October 31 2021.

They were responding to a query from the Indie after a spate of break-ins in the Sawbridgeworth area and several in Bishop's Stortford over the past few months.

Det Insp Chris Ross, who leads the East Herts Local Crime Unit, said: “We understand the devastating impact that burglary has on victims and know that an increase in offences will undoubtedly cause concern among the local community.

“We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to prevent offences from occurring. Patrols have been increased and we have launched our autumn burglary campaign, Op Guardian, to provide crime prevention advice to residents around how to keep their homes more secure.

“Local officers have also been out with crime prevention colleagues, to proactively knock on doors, speak to residents, hand out crime prevention packs and sign people up to the OWL messaging system. New street signage has also been installed."

Mr Ross added: “If you have any concerns, or witness any suspicious activity, please report it to police straightaway. We’d rather attend to find that everything is all in order than miss an opportunity to catch a potential criminal.”

Herts police insisted they ketp an open mind with regard to whether offences were linked, after the Indie indicated some of the burglaries in the Sawbridgeworth area appeared to have similar modus operandi (MOs).

But they accepted offences in the Sawbridgeworth area predominantly occurred between 4pm and 8pm and warned residents to be extra vigilant during those hours.

They added residents should be wary of any unfamiliar faces in the street and report suspicious activity straight away – for example groups of people wearing balaclavas or people knocking on doors with no apparent purpose.

In a response to our query on clear-up figures police stated a Freedom of Information (FoI) request must be made, but added the latest conviction was in August 2022, when a man was jailed for two years and five months, in connection with a burglary which occurred in Saffron Crescent in Sawbridgeworth in March 2022.

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