We are today launching a campaign to tackle burglary. Through this initiative, we aim to enlist the support of the people of Lincolnshire in “beating burglary together”. We will be providing an insight into what we do, demonstrating this is a priority area for Lincolnshire Police, and showing our commitment to protecting communities and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Our aim is to enhance trust and confidence in our service and build a more informed understanding of who is at risk of burglary and what can be done to reduce that risk.
Detective Chief Inspector Jo Fortune said, “This is about showing what we do to tackle burglary, from the moment an incident is reported; how we investigate, our commitment to attend every report of a burglary of a home, how we build a case, and how we use information to understand the problem and address it.”
Based on 1,000 snapshot survey responses, burglary was the top recorded answer when respondents were asked “what type of crime concerns you most in the area you live?”
DCI Jo Fortune explained, “We know that burglary is a top concern for our communities and we need to show that Lincolnshire Police recognises this and prioritises it. To have your home burgled is invasive and upsetting. We want to show the good work that goes on behind the scenes to reduce burglary and protect potential victims. Over the coming months, we will be providing an insight into what we do; how we investigate burglary, how our Crime Reduction Tactical Advisor protects victims, how we work in collaboration to tackle cross border criminals, and how we deal with prolific offenders through Integrated Offender Management.”
DCI Jo Fortune continued, “This will be a long running campaign, with tailored and targeted communications directed to areas and groups that are more vulnerable, alongside general seasonal crime prevention and home security advice. The idea that we are ‘beating burglary together’ means a commitment to show what we have done, where improvements have been made to our service, and to keep you informed of emerging risks, trends and hotspots. In turn we hope this will inspire communities to look out for each other, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable. We want to make sure you are equipped with crime prevention advice and know the simple steps to reducing your risk.”
Summer security advice
The campaign launches today, ahead of the first official day of summer, which falls this week on Wednesday 21 June.
DCI Jo Fortune said, “We hope the summer brings us some lovely weather, but it also brings some challenges and risks. Open doors and windows leaves homes vulnerable to reach in or sneak in opportunistic burglaries; these are the offences where it’s so easy to mitigate the risk simply by locking up and not leaving anything tempting on show.
“Lots of people will go on holiday over the coming months but before you set off, think about any visual indications that your home is empty. For example, is your mail visible and likely to pile up on your doormat? Have you left your bin out for collection? This is where good neighbours can be invaluable. They could keep a general eye out and bring in your bins if needed.”
The campaign aims to offer our county a deeper understanding of the risk by giving a detailed picture of where and when incidents occur and what we are doing to tackle the problem.
Operation Songlark will take place over the summer season to reduce the number of caravan burglaries on the East coast, with the emphasis being on reducing crime and reducing the fear of crime in the area. Led by the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and supported by both specialist investigation and proactive teams, we aim to trace offenders swiftly, recovering stolen property and bringing offenders to justice. The local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be conducting high-visibility engagements and patrols in the area of caravan parks during the season, and working with caravan site owners through Caravan Park Watch to provide crime prevention advice to all our visitors. Engagements will be regularly advertised on our Skegness Police Facebook page and Skegness Police Twitter account.
DCI Jo Fortune said, “We have a lovely coast and of course this brings an influx of visitors, so it follows that with greater numbers of people, offences are higher in the summer months in East Lindsey and specifically on the coast. Caravans are a particular target. Again, it’s about not leaving things on show, like jewellery, cash and bank cards, and also keeping windows and doors locked.”
Tailored, targeted and seasonal communications throughout the year
While offences are consistently higher in East Lindsey in the summer months, we saw a more significant peak in autumn 2022 where caravans were targeted once holiday makers have left for the season, with 30 incidents identified as part of a series. An arrest has been made in connection with this series and the investigation is ongoing.
This campaign is about showing what we are doing in response to trends, hotspots and series, but also sharing the data, so our communities understand the risk, and can take precautions and look out for their communities and neighbours.
Communications will include further seasonal crime prevention advice:
at the end of summer when caravans are left vacant,
in the autumn when the nights draw in,
in the winter when Christmas purchases can be targeted.
We will also target specific groups that are potentially at risk including:
freshers and students in house shares,
those living in areas where burglary is persistently higher,
those living in areas where a number of burglaries have recently occurred,
those living in an area where a series has been identified.
As part of our ‘beating burglary together’ campaign, we will be sharing success stories that are a result of our collaboration with other forces.
DCI Jo Fortune said, “We know that criminals travel to commit crime. We know that cross-border criminality needs a coordinated response to be effective and maximise opportunities to catch offenders. We have a regional collaboration with a regional meeting to share information and work together.
“This helps us to connect incidents and join forces in our response rather than working in isolation on cases that potentially have the same culprits. We also benefit by sharing intelligence, good work and successful tactics.”
This work helps to improve detection rates where offences in Lincolnshire can be identified as part of a series in another force and taken into consideration when an offender is sentenced. This in turn brings closure to our victims.
Effective collaboration also means we are providing evidence to support prosecutions in other force areas, leading to more offenders facing justice. We will bring you these successes stories from court that demonstrate the power of partnership work in beating burglary.
The local picture
Part of our engagement will be using local channels, as opposed to countywide, to communicate what the issues are, what we are doing, and what people can do to reduce their risk.
The following graphic shows a heatmap of all the locations of burglaries of a home in Lincolnshire between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023. Noticeable areas of concentrated activity are the coast in Skegness, Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards. Also, Boston and Spalding on the East and then Gainsborough, Lincoln and Grantham on the West. Towns that also show concentrated activity, but to a lesser extent, are Mablethorpe, Louth, Holbeach, Horncastle, Bourne, Sleaford and Stamford.
Note: the heatmap shows where incidents have occurred so as we would expect, the more densely populated areas would naturally have a greater number of incidents.
An increase in offences of 130 is, in part, due to a series in October 22, our response to which was dubbed Operation Craters. This series had 30 incidents investigated as part of this series. Offences in East Lindsey are consistently higher in the summer months.
The area with the most incidents is our most populated and visited coastal town, Skegness, with 171 offences recorded. Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards also recorded greater numbers of incidents as did (to a lesser extent) Mablethorpe, Louth and Horncastle.
Lincoln and West Lindsey
The areas with greater number of incidents recorded last year were Lincoln Carholme (61 incidents) and Lincoln Abbey ward (54 incidents). A spike in the numbers recorded in January (54 incidents in total compared with a monthly average of 43 incidents), included a series (Operation Exact) where a particular Modus Operandi was identified with homes on main roads targeted in the Lincoln Abbey and Carholme areas. Gainsborough was also an area with greater burglary reports in 2022/2023 as identified on our heatmap.
North and South Kesteven
North and South Kesteven have seen a reduction in numbers of incidents recorded of 43. The peak in figures for this area is August with greater numbers of incidents recorded over the summer months. Grantham Town West saw the greatest number of reports in 2022/2023 (49). To a lesser extent, Sleaford in North Kesteven was highted on our heatmap, as were Bourne and Stamford in South Kesteven.
Boston and South Holland
In Boston and South Holland the figures were greater in the areas of Spalding and Boston, with Boston Town West having the greatest number of incidents (48). To a lesser extent, Holbeach was indicated on our heatmap.
We are committed to attend all burglaries of homes*
We are committed to regional collaboration to tackle cross border crime.
We will use local channels (e.g. local police Facebook pages, NextDoor and Parish Councils) to report on burglaries that have occurred in your area.
We will share news on arrests, charges and court cases.
We will provide timely insight into emerging trends and series.
We will share our efforts behind the scenes, with monthly feature pieces on how we investigate, how our Integrated Offender Management team work with prolific offenders, and how our Crime Reduction Tactical Advisor protects the most vulnerable members of our community.
*For any offences that take place in a shed, outbuilding or vacant caravan, we will assess the threat, harm and risk and make an assessment on whether we attend. Occupied caravans would be treated as we treat the burglary of a home.
This includes information on window and door security, a checklist for leaving your home secure, property marking and other home security tips.
If you see a crime in progress call 999.
For reporting suspicious activity or information about someone you believe may be involved in committing burglary or selling stolen goods, call 101. Alternatively, you can anonymously call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Figures quoted in this release relate to data for Lincolnshire for the one year period from 12am on 1 April 2022 to 11.59pm on 31 March 2023. The total number of dwelling burglaries in Lincolnshire during 2022/2023 has increased year-on-year from the same period 2021/2022 by 130 offences. This is a year-on-year growth of 8.59%.
Data recorded includes burglary of a home, or residential burglary. Incidents at premises including sheds, outbuildings, workshops and allotments have been excluded. Data includes burglaries, attempted burglaries, aggravated burglaries, distraction burglaries and attempted distraction burglaries.
Recorded incidents are broken down into the areas of Boston and South Holland; East Lindsey; Lincoln and West Lindsey; and North and South Kesteven, in the following table: