Detective Chief Inspector Juliette Everett, force lead for Bedfordshire’s burglary reduction plan, Op Fidelity, oversaw 12 days of enforcement activity over the Christmas period in order to tackle burglars and engage with the communities most affected.
Day 1 (4 December): Seven years in jail time handed out
Sisters Jennifer Ward, 37, of Garfield Court, Luton, and Ellen Ward, 32, of no fixed address, are each handed an unwanted Christmas present of 30 months imprisonment for a distraction burglary against an elderly victim in Dorset Court, Luton, in February.
Jamie Davies, 23, of Lancaster Place, Shefford, is jailed for a total of 16 months for a burglary which took place in Shefford in July, in which a vehicle was stolen.
Kevin Hover, 21, of Clarence Road, Leighton Buzzard also received nine months imprisonment for handling stolen goods – namely a laptop linked to a burglary in the town.
Meanwhile a prison visit is conducted at HMP Bedford for a convicted burglar, and a crime prevention and reassurance talk is delivered to elderly residents by PCSOs at Dunstable’s Creasy Park.
Day 2 (5 December): Fidelity focus for Op Vision
In total, 91 houses are visited, 53 burglary surveys completed, and 93 burglary prevention advice postcards delivered. Preventative tools such as timer switches are handed out and 12 new Neighbourhood Watch members are signed up.
Day 3 (6 December): Making tracks on known burglars
Roads Policing officers from the tri-force unit are tasked with responding to vehicles of note for key individuals identified by Operation Fidelity as relating to burglary activity in the county.
As part of this work vehicles linked to burglaries will be targeted and any motoring offences associated with these will be dealt with. Insurance companies are working in partnership with police to achieve this aim.
Proactive high-visibility burglary patrols conducted in Luton and a warrant is executed in Houghton Regis based on burglary-related intel.
Intelligence is gathered and submitted for development while a stop-check is carried out.
Day 5 (8 December): Time behind bars
Prison visit conducted with convicted burglar. The prisoner is receptive and states he does not believe he will re-offend. This prisoner has 18 months left to serve on licence and will be under probation.
Proactive patrols continue in Luton area.
Day 6 (9 December): Arrest and seize
A weekly town centre surgery event in Bedford is held with a focus on burglary awareness and prevention.
High-visibility patrols continue in Luton resulting in one arrest and a vehicle seizure.
Prison leaver is visited on day of release, to signpost him towards rehabilitating services and provide a point of contact.
PCSOs hold a further Op Vision centring on burglary prevention advice in Dunstable. In total 800 homes targeted, while officers also present about Operation Fidelity to a Hightown Council meeting in Luton. Here, we recruit six new Neighbourhood Watch members.
The force’s crime reduction team also deliver Christmas cards targeted at key burglary nominals in the north and south of the county. The cards warn the police are thinking of them this Christmas.
Day 8 (11 December): Rehabilitation is the cure for reoffending
Further prison visits conducted with known burglars visited in HMP Bedford by the force burglary team.
An integration visit for a prison leaver is also held in Bedford in which the former offender is signposted to support services.
Day 9 (12 December): Crossing boundaries
Checks on known offenders’ vehicles continue in a collaborative effort from the tri-force to clamp down on burglary.
More residents are visited in the Westmoreland and Windermere Crescent areas of Luton and given an update on the force plan and crime prevention advice.
Day 11 (14 December): Looking out for neighbours
A total of 67 burglary surveys completed and nearly 200 posted to homes for residents in Brussels Way and Copenhagen Close, Luton.
PCSOs also deliver a crime reduction talk to elderly residents in Dunstable’s Westfield Road.
Proactive police patrols are carried out in identified historic hotspot areas around the county.
More residents are surveyed in the Farley, Strathmore Avenue, May Street and Cambridge Street areas of Luton while vehicle checks continue across Beds, Herts and Cambs.
You can support Op Fidelity by following simple crime prevention and security advice, to help reduce the risk of your home being targeted. Read more here.