Residents get anti-burglary visits as part of Op Magpie

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People living near the victims of burglaries are to be given crime prevention advice to try to stop them being hit next.

Officers will visit homes close to victims within 24 hours of a break-in to warn them that thieves have struck in the area.

Information leaflets will be put through the doors of properties up to a quarter of a mile from burgled buildings and crime prevention experts will speak to residents about how they can make their homes more secure.

The move, called super-cocooning, is part of Operation Magpie, the Sussex Police crackdown on domestic burglaries across the county.

It has proved popular during an 18-month trial.

Chief Inspector Katy Woolford said, “This isn’t about scaring residents but about empowering the community and detering offenders.

“Studies suggest burglars return to the same area to commit offences because they get to know a road, how much they are likely to get from a home and if they might get caught. Super cocooning is designed to stop that.

“People are made aware of what has happened so they can take extra precautions.

“Criminals are made aware that we are focusing on the neighbourhood so they think twice before going there again.

“The response we have had from the public in those areas that have been affected has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The number of burglaries being committed in Sussex has fallen since the launch of Operation Magpie at the end of June.