Special Christmas cards are being sent to 120,000 homes across Essex in a bid to help cut burglaries in the county [16 December 2013].

The independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is launching the campaign to get residents to tell what they know about any burglaries or stolen goods - and they could even get a cash reward.

The appeal by the charity follows a crackdown on burglary in Essex by police. Nick Alston, The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, has funded the campaign understanding that not everyone wants to speak with the police.  

The special postcards are being put through letterboxes of homes in the districts of Castle Point & Rochford, Chelmsford 7 Maldon, Tendring and Epping Forest & Brentwood during Christmas and into the New Year.Essex Xmas burglary poster_Dec2013_600

The first two postcards ask if residents know anything about any burglaries or if they have information about anyone handling stolen goods. The third postcard tells residents about Crimestoppers’ reward system for information. Up to £1,000 can be claimed for any information which leads to the arrest and charge of those responsible for burglaries or handling stolen goods.

People who do not want to speak with Essex Police on 101 can use the Crimestoppers 24-hour phone number of 0800 555 111 where they can give information about crime 100% anonymously. Information can also be given online via Crimestoppers' Anonymous Online Form.

Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “We really need people across Essex to tell us anything they know about burglaries and people handling stolen goods. Maybe someone has confessed to being involved in a burglary. Maybe you know who is handling stolen goods in your area. Maybe you have been offered some cheap Christmas gifts which seem too good to be true. Burglary can have a devastating impact – at Christmas this can be even more so. Please give any information you have, no matter how insignificant you feel it might be”.

Stuart Rawlins, Chairman of Essex Crimestoppers added: “Being burgled is not just about losing possessions, it also robs you of feeling safe in your own home. People should be able to feel secure and confident in their homes. No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers as you will remain anonymous – no personal information is taken. Calls are not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. In the 25 years that Crimestoppers has been running we have never broken our promise of anonymity”.

Nick Alston, Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Being burgled is a horrible experience and can be especially distressing at Christmas. Information that people provide to Crimestoppers may be crucial in helping Essex Police to identify burglars or criminals involved in handling property stolen in burglaries and bringing them to justice.
So, if you’re aware of any suspicious behaviour please consider telling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  It’s completely anonymous and you may prevent a crime taking place this Christmas.”

A similar burglary campaign run in Clacton last year by Crimestoppers saw a 300 per cent increase in information about burglary and handling stolen goods with three arrests and convictions.

Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also complete an Anonymous Online Form.

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Please email ann.scott@crimestoppers-uk.org for a copy of the postcards.

Please note that there will be a photo opportunity available to the media the week commencing 6 January 2014.