Horncastle Police in warning to public after spike in burglaries

On patrol: Horncastle police urge property owners to be on guard after a spike in burglaries throughout the area.
On patrol: Horncastle police urge property owners to be on guard after a spike in burglaries throughout the area.

Horncastle Police have urged the public to be extra vigilant after what officers have described as a significant rise in the number of break-ins.

Police say properties have been targeted in a number of day-time burglaries.

PCSO Nigel Wass told last week’s meeting of Horncastle Town Council that officers had ‘not known the number of burglaries in the area for a long time.’

Presenting a monthly report to councillors, PCSO Wass said: “There has been a big rise in burglaries in the area - and in rural areas.

“The ‘MO’ is they are smashing windows to gain entry, ransacking properties and then stealing only very small amounts.”

PCSO Wass told councillors there had been two burglaries that day (last Tuesday) - one in Hatton and the other in Kirkby on Bain.

He said a white van had possibly been seen at the scenes.

He stressed it was important to put the number of burglaries into perspective with offences in the Horncastle area still well below the county average.

However, he added: “Anyone could become a victim.

“If you see anything that gives you concerns and worries then let us know.

PCSO Wass went on to urge people to take every precaution to protect their properties including ensuring windows and doors are locked - and padlocks fitted on outbuildings.

Meanwhile, he went on to confirm police had drawn a blank in the hunt for offenders who sprayed racist graffiti on various buildings in the town in June.

Offensive language was scrawled on buildings and walls in areas around Manor House Street, near Heron Foods and Church Lane - and the public toilets.

Comments included the phrase ‘Free Tommy’ - a reference to far-right activist Tommy Robinson who co-founded and served as spokesman and leader of the English Defence League (EDL).

Questioned by councillors last Tuesday, PCSO Wass said CCTV cameras had failed to record any of the incidents.

He said: “It (the graffiti) was out of the camera areas.

“They were all checked thoroughly.

“Similar graffiti appeared the same night in Cleethorpes so it could have been someone who was passing through and decided to get a reaction in Horncastle. There has been nothing since.”

Coun Angela Birchall said it was not the first time CCTV cameras had failed to cover a major incident in the town centre.

She said she understood cameras - which are due to be replaced by a digital system - often appeared to be not working, either in the town centre of on the Boston Road Industrial Estate.

PCSO Wass said he understood cameras were working now but confirmed they were not operating 
when a crime was committed on the industrial estate during the summer.

Coun Bill Aron said he had attended a recent CCTV partnership meeting involving seven East Lindsey towns and understood work to install Horncastle’s digital cameras could start at the end of this month, once work on Louth’s system has been completed.