COLUMN: Working to reduce house and vehicle break-ins

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My name is Inspector Nick Butler and I am the Neighbourhood Policing Inspector responsible for local policing in the Mansfield district.

Each month, I’ll publish a new blog on the neighbourhood pages of the Nottinghamshire Police website to help keep you informed about the work of our local policing team, details of recent incidents, crime trends, engagement opportunities and success stories in our area.

We experienced an increase in house burglary and vehicle crime at the beginning of the year. As you are probably aware, a small number of offenders commit most of our crime. Research has shown that 20 per cent of offenders can commit as much as 80 per cent of the crime. This is an interesting statistic but it gives us a real opportunity to target our specialist teams into the most risky people.

I recently met with the head of the offender management team in Nottinghamshire and we discussed the challenges in Mansfield. The process of getting people off drugs and rehabilitation is really what it is all about.

Although, as a police officer I take great delight in catching burglars, it’s far more important to make sure that somebody’s home isn’t broken into in the first place.

Despite the financial challenges we all face it’s reassuring to know that there are highly effective people and organisations working tirelessly to help people to kick the habit and live successful lives.

For the minority who don’t want the help and continue to offend, we have a plan. Last month, we locked up a number of house burglars who weren’t from this area but had been coming to Mansfield to commit their crime, breaking into homes and stealing vehicles. Through some excellent police work they are now behind bars.

It’s important that you make it difficult for the thieves. If you lock your car up at night and double check there is nothing of value left inside it can really help us to prevent crime. I speak to offenders and they tell me that they don’t need to carry tools any more as there are so many cars and vans that are simply left unlocked.

We all live very busy lives and it’s easy to forget to make those checks before you go to bed. If a thief has to force entry to a vehicle there’s a much greater chance that you or a neighbour will hear something and report it to us.

If you would like to read some more practical advice about preventing crime including keep you and your family safe please visit our website www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention

Another challenge for us in Mansfield is the people who we find sleeping rough. We have a weekly meeting in relation to rough sleeping and we oversee who is on our streets and ensure support is in place. If you would like to play a part you can download StreetLink, an app on your phone and let us know if someone is sleeping rough.