Operation Songlark, coupled with our Beating Burglary Together campaign, has resulted in some dramatic reductions in crime on the coast.
Caravan burglary is down 53% with home burglaries down 30% as shown in the latest figures for 2023.*
Today, we are showcasing what we did to contribute to this reduction, including the employment of new and innovative ways to deter and pursue offenders. We are also advising on what you can do to continue to help reduce the risk of burglary to you and your community.
Our team pulled together to deliver Operation Songlark – a coordinated multi-agency response to the issue of caravan burglary and part of our wider Summertime Policing Plan. Actions included:
Increased patrols of both uniform and plain clothes officers,
Drone support with heat-seeking capability to target those moving around site during the night,
Additional resources, brought in from other areas.
In addition to the extra resources, and also vital to the success, was our work with East Lindsey District Council and local Caravan Park owners.
Chief Inspector for East Lindsey, Lee St Quinton, said, “We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support of East Lindsey District Council and every member of the Caravan Park Watch scheme. We are very lucky on the Lincolnshire coast to have people who understand what we are trying to do, and play their part in helping to make Lincolnshire safe. This collaborative effort has all been coordinated by the local officers who have done a really good job in engaging the public.”
The Summertime Policing Plan is key to making the coastal district the safest place to live, work and visit and Chief Insp St Quinton is determined to continue the good work with planning already underway for 2024.
Responding to the positive trend in burglary, Chief Insp St Quinton said, “The role of the public cannot be underestimated. We are very grateful for the positive actions and reports of intelligence that have helped us achieve this reduction in burglary. However, one victim will always be one too many. We will continue to make arrests, robustly investigate and bring offenders to justice. Alongside this we will take every opportunity to seek the support of our communities in reporting anything suspicious and following our crime reduction recommendations.”
Crime reduction recommendations
Don’t leave valuables in your caravan when it’s not in use, especially flat screen TVs, games consoles and DVD players. It’s tempting to leave them under the bed, or in a cupboard. Don’t. Thieves will find them.
At the end of the season, leave curtains open, remove net curtains and leave cupboards empty with doors open. Make it clear to would-be thieves there is nothing worth stealing.
Make sure that all your contact details are up to date at the site office / storage office.
Place a “valuables removed” sign on your windows.
Make sure all windows are locked and if possible, cable tie the handles.
Leave a blank sheet of paper inside the doorway when you finally lock up. A footprint can help trace an offender.
Remove gas bottles as they can be a target for thieves.
Consider if your lock needs upgrading to a professionally fitted anti-snap lock. You can find a local locksmith on the Master Locksmiths Association website.
If your caravan is in regular use, we recommend property marking and property registering – you can register it for free on Immobilise – this helps our investigation if you do have items stolen and helps ensure you get it back.
*Burglary of Home/Residential – 369 incidents were recorded in 2022, down to and 260 in 2023 equating to a 30% reduction. Caravan related – 129 incidents recorded in 2022 down to 61 in 2023 equating to a 53% reduction. Figures are up to 30 November 2023 and compared with the same period in 2022.