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Leafy Surrey takes over from east London as Britain’s burglary hotspot

Britain’s most burgled district is in a leafy corner of Surrey where wealthy residents have been blighted by repeated break-ins.

The postcode of GU3, which includes parts of West Guildford, as well as the military town of Pirbright and villages like Fairlands, overtook Redbridge in east London as the burglary capital, according to Monseysupermarket.com.

In Fairlands a thriving Neighbourhood Watch scheme has been launched in order to try and tackle the scourge.

A number of residents have even erected CCTV around their homes in the hope of deterring  would-be burglars.

Former Surrey Police officer Shelia Willis, who runs the Neighbourhood Watch scheme said: “There was a break-in in Fairlands recently where two burglars smashed in the conservatory door to get in to the house.

“This happened at about 5.35 pm and it seems they may have been monitoring the movement of the family to determine when the property is vacant.

“The police were called. The neighbours were very kind and supportive throughout and it’s great to have that community spirit.”

Burglaries have rise sharply over the last year according to official figures

One local burglary victim, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a bit ridiculous. We found two footprints in the garden, and they sent some new officers out. They told us it wasn’t TV and they couldn’t do anything.”

The recent spike in burglaries across Britain, including in places like Surrey, has led to surge in the number of communities launching Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

Last month saw more than 900 new areas joining the scheme – up from around 150 in an average month.

Neighbourhood Watch – which was first launched in Cheshire in 1982 – encourages communities to be each other’s eyes and ears, particularly in areas that do not have regular police patrols.

Around 8.7 million different schemes have now been registered across the UK.

Most schemes are launched after burglars move into a particular area and a number of homeowners are hit.

The village of Worplesden in Surrey is one of the villages in the GU3 postcode

Credit:
John Nguyen/JNVisuals

The recent surge in new members is in line with the current upturn in burglary offences across the country, which last year topped 410,000 across homes and businesses.   

John Hayward-Cripps, the CEO of Neighbourhood Watch said: “We know from speaking with our members who have been victims of burglary what a devastating impact this crime can have on people who are left feeling vulnerable in their own homes where they should feel safe.

“From our experience the impact of burglary extends beyond the immediate victim to their wider community.

“When a burglary occurs it is a main driver for neighbours to come together and start Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and we have seen a significant upturn in the numbers of

Neighbourhood Watch schemes being registered on our national database recently – 915 new schemes registered in March 2018 – up from an average of 150 new schemes registered per month over the preceding 6 months.  

“Prevention is key to keeping people reassured and feeling safe from crime in their homes and in their neighbourhoods.

“Neighbourhood Watch builds stronger communities where people know and look out for each other, making burglaries more difficult to commit and reducing the number of victims who suffer the appalling effects of these crimes.”

Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/06/leafy-surrey-takes-east-london-britains-burglary-hotspot/

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