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Burglary police make nine arrests

by Hayley Robinson

Nearly 50 burglaries and attempted break-ins have been carried out across Sittingbourne in a three-week period.

The policeman in charge of tackling them, Det Sgt Scott Machin, says the spike is “not the norm” but he and his team are confident they will reduce the number of future offences.

As part of an operation to tackle the problem, seven search warrants were used on Tuesday last week by officers looking for stolen property.

Nine people were arrested in connection with some of the 44 incidents across the area.

Three men have since been charged while the other six have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Det Sgt Machin, head of the pro-active burglary unit based at Sittingbourne police station, said: “It is a high number in a short period of time and it is a rare occurrence but we are doing everything we can to stop these burglaries and find the offenders.

“I cannot tell you exactly how we are doing this except that it’s a collaboration of investigation, intelligence and looking at previous offenders.

“There are about 15 burglaries we are linking over the past three to four weeks and there’s a number of individuals that we suspect are currently involved in this type of offence - the majority of whom are local.

“Every area in the country will go through an increase at times and there’s a number of reasons why it may happen.

“People will say it’s because it’s leading up to Christmas but we can just as easily have a spike in May.

“It would be easy to say it’s down to poverty or lack of jobs and the economic state but I think that’s excuses.

“I’m responsible along with my team to target burglars regardless of the reasons; that’s what we will do and I’m absolutely confident we will reduce this cluster.

“We’ve done it before and we will do it again. Our priority is to make sure people feel safe in their houses.”

The News Extra asked the police for figures of how many burglaries and break-ins there were last year.

They declined – saying we would need to use a Freedom of Information Act request to get those statistics.

For full details of which streets have been affected, see this week's Sittingbourne News Extra or Sittingbourne Messenger.

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