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Avon and Somerset Police deliver a warning to criminals this Christmas

Criminals will receive hand-delivered Christmas cards from Avon and Somerset police containing a stern seasonal reminder that officers are nearby, ready to tackle criminal activity and catch offenders.

On average, 10 burglars are arrested every week as part of Operation Remedy. Alongside rigorous enforcement, this seasonal gesture will deter criminal activity and remind criminals that police are nearby. In the first six months of activity, the work conducted by Operation Remedy resulted in a sustained reduction in number of burglary offences, with 661 fewer burglaries across Avon and Somerset, 9% less than the previous year.

Chief Superintendent Pete Warren said: “The festive period is about spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones, but we know certain individuals instead choose to spend their time committing crime and causing misery to others.

“We are committed to tackling the crimes that matter most to local people and prosecuting those responsible, particularly burglars and drug dealers. Our officers work 24 hours a day 365 days a year and are dedicated to ensuring our communities do not become victims of crime this Christmas.

“Delivering these Christmas cards will remind known offenders we are watching them and encourage those considering offending over the festive period to think again.”

Since the start of Operation Remedy, a number of significant burglars have been brought to justice. Most recently, Aaron Weeks, from Bedminster, who was caught on a victim’s security camera was jailed for 28 months; Amor Baker, from Lambeth in South London, was jailed for seven years for robbing two women of their jewellery in broad daylight; and Anthony Paul Squire, from Bristol, was jailed for four years for burglary and fraud offences having committed a “creeper” style burglary in which he broke into a property overnight while the occupant slept inside.

Burglary is known to increase over the festive period and residents are encouraged to take note of the following prevention advice:

  • Be mindful of advertising new gifts received by not leaving boxes and packaging of particularly expensive items for rubbish collection or recycling.
  • If you are visiting friends or family and are away overnight or for a few days, tell a trusted neighbour so they can keep an eye on your property.
  • Get your bikes and belongings security marked and registered at BikeRegister and Immobilise.
  • Make use of or download the latest phone tracking software such as the new Find My app for Apple iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices, and Find my Mobile app for Samsung mobile devices.
  • Store any high value items such as jewellery and passports in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault.
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows.
  • Lock all your windows and doors every time you leave your house, remembering to double lock UPVC doors.
  • Keep entrances to your property easily visible by ensuring nearby hedges and trees are well maintained.
  • Make sure boundaries to your property – including fencing and walls – are in a good state of repair.
  • Ensure any side gates are securely locked to prevent unwanted access to the rear of your property.
  • Remove keys from door locks and store them out of sight.
  • Where possible, leave radios and lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied.