Protect your house” and “Help us catch the burglar” were the messages from Suffolk Police today as it launched Operation Drawbridge.

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The operation is aimed at reducing the number of house burglaries happening in the county and has three lines of attack against burglars.

It is hoped the campaign will reduce the number of these offences by encouraging homeowners to take simple measures to protect their house.

A second line of attack against burglars will see members of the public urged to provide police with crucial information to help bring offenders to court.

Lastly dedicated police teams will be working across the county to stop offenders by carrying out high visibility patrols in affected areas, gathering intelligence on those responsible and visiting homes or shops where the handling of stolen goods is suspected.

The launch of Operation Drawbridge coincides with the end of British Summer time with the clocks going on Sunday as police remind homeowners to light up their homes and deter would-be burglars.

There are an average of 158 burglaries a month across the county and the latest crime figures show a 15pc fall in break-ins- however November and December traditionally see a rise in offences.

Temporary Det Chief Insp Bernie Morgan said: “Burglars look for quick win opportunities, so often very simple measures can deter them from trying to enter a home.

“Simply leaving a light on, especially now that the darker nights are upon us, will give the impression someone is at home.

“Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re away for a few days.

“A high proportion of all break-ins are as a result of properties being left insecure so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial.

Remember to “‘close it, lock it, and check it”.

“Install a burglar alarm and make sure you never leave a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot. Burglars will always look there first.”

Police will be taking “serious action” against anyone suspected of carrying out a burglary and they want members of the public to help them in catching those responsible.

Temporary Det Chief Insp Morgan added: “We have found that certain individuals who carry out these offences are often responsible for numerous burglaries, so we are using developing crime scene technology to help us in making connections between incidents and bring those responsible to justice.

“We need members of the public to call us as soon as they see any suspicious activity in their area, to let us know if they see anyone hanging around a house they don’t believe should be there, or if they know of anyone selling goods they expect to be stolen.

“My message to burglars is clear, we will not tolerate this offence and we will do all we can to stop you. If you engage in this sought of crime you will be arrested and the likelihood is that you will go to prison.

“With the help of our communities, we will do this and ensure that we keep our county safe.”

If you have any information in relation to burglaries or the handling of stolen goods, call Suffolk Police on 101. In an emergency dial 999, or to report information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Full crime prevention is available at www.suffolk.police.uk

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