TIM DREW: Worthing Neighbourhood Watch column, November 15

Burglary statistics for Worthing during October show 28 such offences as having been either attempted or committed – 10 more than in the previous month.

Once again, Central ward was hardest hit, with six crimes recorded, followed by Broadwater and Northbrook with four each.

No burglaries were reported in Goring, and only one each in Offington, Salvington, Tarring, Castle and Marine.

Nine of the affected premises had not been secured, but there were fourteen instances of attempted or successful forced entry. It is pleasing to report that, in 10 of these cases, nothing was stolen, though damage was caused to a number of the properties concerned.

However, it shows that there are some determined crooks about, who will go to a lot of trouble to get their hands on your valuables.

A couple of cases deserve highlighting, the first of which involved the burglar climbing on to a water butt and from there to a flat roof, where he gained access to the property through a window; so always check that all potential entry points are secured, and not just at ground level.

The second involved the use of a garden fork which the burglar found in a shed and then used to force a rear door. So, please be sure to secure your outbuildings, and don’t leave any handy tools lying around.

In fact, burglaries other than at dwellings have increased this year (as was indeed noted in the Neighbourhood Policing Team’s report at our recent AGM) and a Local Action Team (which includes our chairman, councillor John Rogers) is focusing on this.

Finally, and on a personal note, we have received with regret the news that Alan Fairley and Dennis Clarke have retired as co-ordinators of their respective schemes.

We thank both these gentlemen for their contributions to Neighbourhood Watch over the years, and wish them all the best for the future.