POLICE say there has been a reduction in burglaries in the Ringwood area.

Hampshire Constabulary says burglary rates in the Ringwood area have reduced over the last eight weeks after "proactive action was taken by local neighbourhood policing teams".

In late September and throughout October, it says, there were a total of 49 incidents of burglaries or attempted burglaries reported by members of the public to Hampshire Constabulary.

In November alone, Ringwood Neighbourhood Policing Teams have seen a decrease of 36 per cent in criminal activity across the area – with burglaries dropping even further in the last week (November 13 to 19) where just four incidents were reported compared to 19 the previous week.

Inspector for New Forest West District Michael Minnock said: “We are well aware of the impact that this type of criminal activity can have on our local communities – especially those who are self-employed and rely on tools for their livelihoods.

"In adopting a more stringent approach to non-dwelling burglaries and ensuring there is a higher policing visibility on key areas and at key times – including the early hours of the mornings, we have seen an overall reduction in the area. This is something that we as a local neighbourhood policing team will continue to strive to reduce even further.

“This is a district priority for us and are working closely with our partners, including New Forest District Council and neighbouring police forces, to prevent further crime and identify potential offenders – especially in recent light of cross-border activity. We want the local communities 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 activity in the area, we would ask that residents remain vigilant and report all criminal and suspicious activity through the normal channels – by either calling 101 or via the Hampshire Constabulary online reporting tool. Please remember to call 999 if a crime is in progress or where there is an obvious threat to life.

The force says that an increase in police visibility and on-going stop and search checks has "resulted in fewer residential and commercial-related burglaries being reported in Ringwood and the surrounding areas".

Specialist officers have been deployed to high-risk areas within Ringwood – with officers and PCSOs patrolling these communities 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.

Theft from vehicles, sheds and garages were those most commonly targeted – with power tools, electric bikes and traditional mountain bikes among the items which were stolen.

Residents in Ringwood and surrounding areas are reminded to:

• Lock sheds or garages every evening, ensuring that there is a reliable and robust lock in place to deter any would-be burglars.

• Mark possessions by using a property or police approved forensic marking solution only visible under Ultraviolet light.

• Record the details of your property such as serial numbers for electronic goods on the Immobilise website immobilise.com), which will assist police in returning any stolen property to their rightful owners.

• Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.