Torbay police warning to burglars: 'You are not welcome this Christmas'
POLICE in Torbay are launching a Christmas crackdown on crime.
Operation Reindeer is a high-profile campaign to cut the number of burglaries and carries the warning: 'Not everyone is welcome this Christmas'.
The aims of the operation are to direct increased resources at known offenders, protect the public in high-crime areas, and provide useful advice to residents through a publicity blitz.
Detectives say the main message is to warn people about the dangers of leaving doors and windows unlocked.
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Acting Det Insp Chris Yarwood said: "Traditionally, coming up to Christmas, we've seen an increase in dwelling and residential burglaries across Torbay.
"About 40 per cent of all burglaries are due to people leaving their premises unsecured.
"One problem is that these days many people have UPVC doors and windows which, unlike the old Yale locks, don't lock automatically and close behind you when you leave the house. We want to tell people that whenever they leave the house, whether to take the dog for a walk, go to the shops or just work on their cars in the drive, to make sure the doors and windows are locked behind them."
The launch of Operation Reindeer will begin with a 20,000-leaflet drop to Herald Express readers next week.
The leaflet recommends people take three steps to fight crime this Christmas:
keep doors and windows secure at all time
keep presents and valuables away from outside view
property mark presents and valuables with a UV pen and register them on a special website.
Acting DI Yarwood said: "As part of Operation Reindeer, we will also be providing property marking UV pens at the station and at public events in shopping centres and other venues.
"We will also be taking positive action in respect of people who are likely to be committing burglaries.
"If we know they are a risk we will be targeting them, visiting them and letting them know we will not be tolerating any criminal action.
"We will also be looking at how we respond to burglaries and the speed of the response we make.
"The leaflets will be going out in the paper and PCSOs will be dropping some through doors."
For more information, log on to www.devon-cornwall.police.uk
The leaflet will say that anyone who wants to report a crime or has information about criminal activity can call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Police are also running a campaign targeting retail theft retail theft in the run-up to Christmas.
From Monday until Christmas Eve, police officers and PCSOs will be taking part in Operation Action.
PC Nick Holland said: "We run this every year to cut down on the amount of theft which occurs in and around our shops.
"This year, we are putting out six officers each day, seven days a week, to cover Torquay town, Paignton town and The Willows.
"Officers will be in uniform to not only deter and stop check criminals but to provide a high-profile, reassuring presence and to provide advice on crime prevention and personal security."