BURGLARY rates in the Ringwood area have reduced over the last month, according to police.

Hampshire Constabulary says an increase in police visibility and on-going stop and search checks has resulted in a 25 per cent decrease in reported residential and commercial-related burglaries in Ringwood and the surrounding areas since July 16 to August 4.

During this time, there were 15 burglaries reported by members of the public to Hampshire Constabulary, compared to 20 burglaries for the three weeks prior (June 26 – July 15).

Specialist officers – alongside PCSOs - were deployed to high-risk areas within Ringwood to patrol local communities in order to deter any suspicious activity and identify any offenders, as well as using stop and search powers to disrupt any suspicious or potential criminal activity.

Police say a number of cameras have recently been used to "further enhance" investigative opportunities relating to burglaries in the area.

Michael Minnock, Inspector for New Forest West District, said: “This demonstrates the impact that policing can have on the community in ensuring a higher visibility presence. The figures provide clear evidence that a combination of more frequent patrols of key burglary hotspots alongside stop and search checks are having the desired effect. In such a short space of time, to have a fall of up to 25 per cent in reported burglaries in the area is a great result – and something that we as a local neighbourhood policing team will continue to strive to reduce this further, treating these incidents as a district priority.

“We want the local community to be reassured that our neighbourhood policing teams are doing all that they can within their powers to prioritise investigative opportunities at all reported burglaries in the area.

“While there has been a decrease in burglary activity in the area, Hampshire Constabulary are continuing to urge local residents to remain vigilant and to report any crimes which are in progress or where there is a threat to life by calling 999.”

Residents are reminded to:

  • Shut all windows and lock them when you are not using the room, at night and when you leave your property for any extended period of time
  • Lock all front and rear doors at night and when you are out – especially if you go on holiday. If you have a UPVC door with a multi-point lock ensure you lift the handle and lock it with the key. Remove the key after the door or window is locked.
  • Do not actively promote the fact that you’re going on holiday; especially on social media. It presents an opportunity to opportunists who may be monitoring social media in the local community.
  • Put all car keys and other keys out of sight and not in reach of windows and letterboxes. It doesn't take much for the keys to be hooked through the letterbox.
  • Leave a light on so your home looks occupied if you are going out for the evening. If you head out while it is still daylight and won't be back till after dark then timer switches (available from most DIY stores) can be useful for turning your lights, radios and other appliances on at a set time before you get back.
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
  • Do not leave ladders and garden tools in your garden; lock them away in your shed.
  • Have an intruder alarm system installed by an approved contractor. Ensure a visible alarm box is attached to the outside of your home. Also consider fitting security lighting.
  • Use door chains and spy holes to give you extra security if someone knocks on your door. Never be afraid to turn people away. If you have concerns about anyone who has come to your door call the police.
  • Ensure that your privacy settings have been set up correctly for social media profiles or applications which make use of GPS e.g. FitBit, Strava etc. This may help to protect the routes you travel on a regular basis or your home address from being discovered.
  • Record the details of your property such as serial numbers for electronic goods on the Immobilise website .