PC Kerry Jones Image:Bedfordshire Police

I’m PC Kerry Jones and I work alongside PC Amanda Harvey and PCSO James Dancer as the local community officers for Kempston Hardwick and Stewartby, amongst other areas.

As 2021 begins, we are still very much living in the midst of a global pandemic, with the news constantly changing as the government announces new restrictions for different areas across the country.

Because of this, we have had to adapt the way we police your villages, but we have continued to engage and listen to our communities in the best way we can, so we can understand your concerns, which helps us decide what we need to focus on.

Over the last few months it has been raised to us that burglary has become an issue in the Kempston Hardwick and Stewartby areas.

We know how distressing this type of crime can be, and it often leaves victims feeling violated in their own homes, so we are doing all we can to tackle this.

We have a dedicated team – Operation Maze – which identifies the areas frequently targeted, short-term spikes and key offending patterns, as well as conducting patrols and disruption activity to prevent break-ins from occurring.

There are a number of steps you can take to reduce your chances of being a victim of burglary, such as making sure all house and vehicle doors are secured, keeping all valuables and keys safely out of sight from windows, and not hiding spare keys under a doormat or flower pot, as this is the first place a would-be offender will check. You can find out more on the burglary advice pages of our website.

Please remember that if you have any issues in your area or you want to report any suspicious behaviour, you can always let us know by reporting them via our online reporting tool.

Alternatively, you can use our live web chat service, which will put you in touch with someone directly in our contact centre, or call us on 101.

Unfortunately, we have had instances where people have used local social media groups to let other people know that they have been the victim of a crime, but haven’t reported it to us, which means we are unaware and were unable to investigate.

Letting us know of any issues in your area really does help us create an intelligence picture and feeds into how we tackle these problems.

As we head into the new year, we urge you to please continue to stay alert to the COVID-19 virus and follow government guidance.

If you are experiencing any symptoms, you need to stay at home and only go out to be tested. You can book a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus.

For information about coronavirus and the current restrictions, please visit the government website.

For more information about what is happening in your area, you can also sign up to Beds Alert, which is an email messaging system powered by Neighbourhood Alert. This allows you to get the most up-to-date communications from us, including news, appeals and advice.

The Have Your Say survey is also another way in which you can help us determine the priorities for your area and provide us with a better understanding of the issues that are effecting you.

Happy New Year to all; please continue to stay alert to keep you and others safe.

PC Kerry Jones