A NEIGHBOURHOOD police officer has expressed concern over a sharp rise in the amount of burglaries over the festive period in Darwen and its rural areas.

According to figures published by Police.uk, the numbers since 2012 at Christmas time have risen from around 19 to 48.


Dave Sherrington, Darwen neighbourhood police officer, said he wants people to be more vigilant right across town as well as in Edgworth, Hoddlesden and Turton as the increase in crime is worrying.

He said: “We normally do see a small rise in burglaries in the run-up to Christmas but it is how extreme this seems to have been recently that is concerning.

“There has been a lot of hard work put in by officers to try to track down who is responsible. We have a very good idea of a few people who we think might be guilty and we are targeting those people.

“We have been working in close conjunction with Greater Manchester Police to track down the people responsible around the Bolton areas.

“I would ask people to be more vigilant and if they see anyone acting suspiciously, such as looking into lots of houses or gardens, then please ring us straight away.

“There are various things that we and you can do to make your property safer.

“For example, if you are away for a few days, try to get something for your postbox that will collect your letters, as it only takes someone to peek in, see a load of letters on the floor and they will know you have not been there for a few days.

“We are planning to send out some crime-prevention messages to make people more aware.”

One of the burglaries to occur recently in Darwen happened in November when a house on Bolton Road was broken into and an iPad, iPhone, laptop, PlayStation 3, necklaces and bracelets were stolen. Police said they are still trying to trace a man who is wanted in connection with the £1,800 raid.

Sunnyhurst councillor Brian Taylor said the statistics are shocking and everyone should pay attention to police advice.

He said: “It is a despicable crime because people never feel safe in their own home again afterwards.

“The police advice is good.

“Do not leave valuable things on display in your house or car and make sure windows and doors are closed.

“We cannot do any more than make things more secure.”