A SENIOR detective has urged people in Oxfordshire be vigilant after figures revealed Oxfordshire’s soaring burglary rate.

Chief superintendent Richard List, who described burglary as psychologically and financially traumatic, said the public, like the police, have a vital role to play in reducing the amount of the crime.

His comments follow recent revelations in the Oxford Mail about the sharp rise in the county’s burglary rate – including that November had the second highest number of burglaries over the past three years with a total of 361 reports.

The only other month since December 2014 to see more reports of burglaries to police was in June this year, which experienced a peak of 373 reports.

In December 2016 there were 281 burglaries, while December 2015 saw 226, and December 2014, saw 206 burglaries.

Ch Supt List said: “We are only too aware of the serious impact that having your home broken into has on people in the Thames Valley. It is traumatic both psychologically and financially.

“Over recent months, like other forces across the country, we have been seeing an increase in burglaries. There are a number of reasons for this increase but it’s important that we all do everything we possibly can to prevent burglaries being committed in the first place.

“We are taking every action possible to tackle this by bringing offenders to justice, and also disrupting those who see fit to carry out these crimes.

“We would ask the public to think about what measures they can take to secure their homes.”

The number of burglaries in April this year was 300. The figures obtained by the Oxford Mail go back to December 2014 and show no instances of burglaries reaching this number before then.

Since April, the monthly figures only fell below 300 on one occasion in September, when there were 297 reported burglaries.

The figures did not include December.

Ch Supt List offered a variety of preventative measures in which homeowners could help protect their properties, and those of their neighbours, against burglary.

He continued: “Measures to protect homes could include securing doors and windows, having lights on timers and also not advertising on social media if you are going away for a holiday.

"By taking just a few simple measures, particularly at this time of year, you can significantly reduce your risk of being a victim of burglary.

“Additionally, we would ask members of the community to be vigilant and keep an eye on their neighbours’ properties if they are unoccupied and report any suspicious behaviour by calling 101 or speaking to one of the neighbourhood policing teams."

Across the Thames Valley, there has been a 25 per cent rise in burglary in the past six months.