Joining forces to tackle cross border crime

Sussex Police are joining with forces in Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley to target cross-county burglars.

Cross-border crime is a real issue in the Rye and Battle area. The gang who murdered Robertsbridge farmer Julian Gardener were from Kent, as were a pair who ram-raided Iden Stores near Rye.

For the first time, officers from each force will co-ordinate activities during a three-week burglary campaign to catch offenders and educate residents to try to prevent them from becoming victims.

Officers regularly liaise with colleagues across the region about individual offenders or crime gangs but in the past ran operations at different times of the year - opening the possibility that burglars simply switched their attention to homes across the border during the campaigns.

The campaign is being run between 27 October and 16 November because in recent years the region has experienced a rise in reports of burglary in that period.

A combined total of 2,645 burglaries were reported in that period in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Thames Valley in 2012 and 2013 - up 3.5 per cent from the 2,555 burglaries reported in the three weeks prior to those periods.

Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones from Sussex Police said: “Burglary is a priority for us because we know what an impact this crime type has on people. The emotional effect of burglary, for many, is often far more devastating than the loss of their belongings.

“This campaign sees us working with our partners, including other police forces, to reduce burglary at a time of year when we know it traditionally increases.

“You can get involved by joining your local Neighbourhood Watch, visiting our website and registering your property on immobilise.com.

“I would also urge anyone who notices people acting suspiciously in their area or vehicles that look out of place to report them. Your information could be what is needed to get a gang of burglars off the streets.

“Together we can, and will, tackle burglary.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has welcomed the campaign.

She said: “Burglars don’t respect borders. That is why I am pleased to see Sussex Police and its neighbouring forces taking this imaginative approach.”