PC 245 Harvey Image: Bedfordshire Police

I’m PC Amanda Harvey and I am one of your local community officers for a number of areas, including Wootton, Kempston Rural, Kempston Hardwick, Oakley and Pavenham.

At the time of writing, we find ourselves in the middle of the second national lockdown, but we are still working in your area to tackle the issues and concerns that you bring to our attention, as well as making sure that government guidance continues to be followed.

We have been made aware of some anti-social behaviour by teenagers in Wootton, in clear breach of the guidelines, so we would ask all parents to remind their children of the advice, and be aware that we are continuing with our patrols.

Unfortunately, we know that some residents have recently been affected by burglaries. We have stepped up patrols in those areas and our dedicated burglary team, Operation Maze, is doing all it can to find those responsible.

Opportunist thieves are often tempted by an empty home on these darker evenings, so make sure your house looks lived in when you’re out. Lock up securely and use timers for your lights. Consider leaving a radio playing, so it seems like someone is home.

The same is also true of business premises, and we would advise that those not used overnight are also checked and secured, with valuables, including tools and equipment, stored away securely.

With Christmas just a few weeks way, avoid placing gifts under the tree too soon. Would-be offenders often look for homes with presents on show, so we would advise you to keep them out of sight from windows.

For more tips on how to make your home less attractive to burglars, visit our Burglary Advice page on the Bedfordshire Police website.

If you wish to report any concerns you have, including breaches of COVID-19 guidelines, you can do so via the force’s online reporting centre – rather than contacting us on 101, as this will help us prioritise incoming reports and allocate appropriate resources.

For information visit the government guidance section on the Coronavirus pandemic.

Don’t forget you can also get up-to-date information on the work we are doing in your area by following us on Twitter at @bedspolicerural.

You can also follow Bedfordshire Police on Facebook, on Twitter @bedspolice or on Instagram @bedspoliceuk – we will be using the hashtag #KeepingBedsSafe to highlight the work we are doing alongside our partners over the coming weeks to protect our communities.

Please stay at home and help us keep Bedfordshire safe. Thank you.

PC Amanda Harvey