Headlines: September 30th, 2009

Burglary hotspots in Bristol are being listed for walkabouts by Council staff, police and other agencies as part of a drive to cut break-ins.

The campaign’s priority is areas of Bristol which account for 20 percent of the city’s burglaries although they contain only 10 percent of its houses. The walkabouts are being organised by Safer Bristol and include representatives of the police and Bristol City Council’s Clean and Green Team and its Housing Department. The aim is to identify areas for improvement and they are taking place in specific streets identified as being especially vulnerable to opportunist burglaries as a way to reduce the fear of crime.

The council says that as well as providing a reassuring presence, those taking part in the walks can offer advice and guidance and after each tour they develop a plan to find solutions to the problems that have been noted. Action after the initial walkabouts has included cleaning graffiti, the removal of abandoned vehicles and advisory letters to home owners who had overgrown gardens which allow burglars to gain access from rear entrances. During the walkabouts local people can join the team on the streets or display a flyer they have been sent so the team can visit their homes.

Georgie Bryant, the Community Safety Officer behind the scheme said: “By organising these walkabouts as a multi-agency approach, we can all share the problems in the target areas and together ensure that solutions are found quickly.”