Members of the public reporting burglaries to Beds Police will undergo a series of questions in order for call handlers to assess the seriousness of the burglary.
Under the new scheme, burglaries in “hotspot areas” or involving vulnerable victims will be prioritised.
Detective inspector Janine Graham said: “We have introduced this new way of responding to burglary reports to ensure we prioritise our resources based on the wider threat, risk and harm, and also to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in catching offenders.
“We have increased patrols in hotspot areas throughout the county, and are continuing to act swiftly on any intelligence we receive about criminal activity in our communities.”
Beds Police state that all victims will be visited by a scene-of-crime officer to assess any forensic evidence. A community officer will be also assigned to offer advice and reassurance. Victims will be asked to supply any CCTV footage to investigators.
Operation Fidelity is the name the force has given to its burglary response unit.
Bedfordshire Police has also issued the following advice for the public to protect their homes through the dark winter months:
• Use lights at home – use a timer when you are out, so it looks like someone is home
• Secure all house and vehicle doors. If you have a UPVC door, make sure it is double locked
• Keep all valuables and keys safely out of sight from windows, both in your home and car. Close curtains when you have a light on indoors
• Never leave garages or sheds unlocked. Not only can valuable tools be appealing to thieves, they can also be used to force entry to your home
• Don’t hide your keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place a would-be offender will look
• Ask a friend to keep an eye on your house when you go away, and do the same for neighbours by remaining alert to suspicious activity in your street
• If you spot someone behaving suspiciously, contact police immediately
• Don’t forget to security mark your property and register it on https://www.immobilise.com/