Worrying news for homeowners in West Berkshire was that burglaries were up by 8.8 per cent to 681 incidents, meaning there were 55 more break-ins between April 2008 and March 2009.
Local Area Police (LPA) Commander Superintendent Robin Rickard said over the past few weeks his officers had been running targeted operations around the problem and identified Pangbourne and Thatcham as two hot spots.
He said: “I think in terms of West Berkshire being a safe place, it is still a very safe place to live, to work and enjoy.
“If you were to compare similar areas in the Thames Valley that’s what it indicates.
“For the people who have been victims of burglary it must be absolutely horrifying for somebody to break into their home, but the vast majority of people will not experience a burglary.
“It’s fortunately a small number of victims and it’s a low crime rate, but it’s an increase and it is a priority.”
The top cop estimated that 14 per cent of burglaries were where people had broken into houses specifically to steal car keys and cars, and a large number were via the letterbox.
There was also an increase of 22 per cent of non-dwelling burglaries from garden sheds and garages where tools and bikes were the main target.
(Reproduced from the Reading Evening Post, 22nd April 2009)
GARDIEN TIP: Use our advice at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/shed-outbuilding-security.aspx