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Calls for action in Dukinfield after huge spike in burglaries
Wednesday 19th September 2018 @ 15:44 by Tom Greggan
Community Dukinfield News Tameside

Residents in Dukinfield have taken to patrolling the streets after a burglary “epidemic” struck the town over the past two weeks.

Locals took to social media to share stories and CCTV images as night after night, houses and vehicles have been targeted.

Extra patrols have been put in place in the town after local politicians called for additional help. “I’ve never known a time like this in Dukinfield,” said Cllr John Taylor. ““It’s not a mini crime wave. It’s a major spike in crime.”

Residents have spent hundreds of pounds on additional security measures to secure their homes against the thieves.

One resident who lives near St. John’s Church said: “We were first broken into at about 1am on the 12th. Judging by our neighbours CCTV, they were in our house for 20 minutes. They stole my and iPad, my handbag, keys and car.

“After the first break in, we had CCTV installed and that’s how we found out about the attempted break-in on Saturday night. It’s really unnerving. Other people on our street have been targeted.”

Another resident added: “I was at work when we were broken into but my partner was upstairs with our son. They stole our car. I believe it is the same culprits and they are terrorising the whole town.

“I’ve got CCTV on every corner, floodlights and internal door locks now. Our four-year-old son is even sleeping in our bedroom because his bedroom is the first at the top of the stairs.”

Addressing the spike in burglaries, Inspector Andrew Holden, of GMP’s Tameside borough, said: “We are well aware of the rise in burglaries in the area. One suspect has been charged and remanded and we are working hard to secure charges against a second.

“There is a plan being put in place to provide additional support to the area from police and partners. Patrols have been tasked to the area during the key overnight times when burglaries are occurring.”

Local neighbourhood PCSOs will be visiting Dukinfield to give crime prevention advice and assistance while investigations are ongoing, but some residents have bemoaned a lack of police manpower and resources in the area, leading some to take to the streets themselves to ward off the culprits.

“We’ve got a good relationship with the officer dealing with our case,” one local said. “We know the police are understaffed- those that are dealing with it are doing the best they can.”

Another added: “I know the police are under-resourced but why am I canvassing neighbours for CCTV? Four days ago I was talking to another lad who had been burgled and suggested we go and drive round, just to make a presence. I don’t know what we’d do if we caught them. Maybe just disrupt them and call the police? It’s just about showing that someone is taking a stand.”

Once victim said: “I’ve been out patrolling the area myself. There is one police officer and 2 PCSOs in Dukinfield and it’s not enough, although I have noticed an increased police presence over the past two days. Myself and a few neighbours chased them off our street. They tried to make off in a stolen van but that was recovered.”

Speaking about residents taking matters into their own hands, Cllr John Taylor said: “I’ve thought of doing it myself but residents need to be very careful and look after themselves. If you see something, ring the police. Do not take the law into your own hands.”

Local MP Andrew Gwynne said: “I’m really concerned to hear from local residents about the recent spike in crime in Dukinfield.

“I understand that the local councillors are in the process of organising a multi-agency meeting to discuss this matter, but I have separately been in touch with the police urging them to provide additional resources to combat this worrying trend.”