Locals in historic market town hire their own private security company to patrol streets at night with dogs and marked cars after spate of burglaries
- Houses in Kimbolton, rural Cambridgeshire, were burgled within a few weeks
Locals in a historic market town have hired their own private security company to patrol the streets at night with dogs and marked cars after a spate of burglaries in the area.
Houses in the same neighbourhood in Kimbolton, rural Cambridgeshire, were burgled within just a few weeks – among them was Derek Suckling’s home.
The pilot, 51, was working in America when his wife Natasha Armstrong called to tell him that their house had been the latest target by burglars.
‘She was in the house on her own when they broke in through the patio door,’ Mr Suckling told The Sunday Times.
The thieves took the family’s Jeep, clothes, shoes and jewellery worth thousands of pounds in the burglary five years ago.
Houses in the same neighbourhood in Kimbolton (pictured), rural Cambridgeshire, were burgled within just a few weeks – among them was Derek Suckling’s home
Within just four weeks of their house being broken into, every house on the couple’s street ‘had a break-in or attempted break in’, according to Mr Suckling.
After the spade of burglaries homeowners took matters into their own hands and hired a private security company to patrol the streets with dogs and marked cars.
READ MORE: Almost 600 burglaries are going unsolved every day with more than 200,000 police investigations into break-ins closed without any suspects being identified, analysis of Home Office figures finds
More and more residents started paying for the security service – including 90 per cent of the residents in the neighbouring hamlet of Stonely, according to Blueline Security.
They aren’t the only ones: about 50 villages in the area have hired security guards for their neighbourhoods. This costs residents about £35 a month per household.
Blueline Security started working with residents in Kimbolton back in 2019. At the time only gated homes in London were patrolled and the company’s main work was focused on surveillance and close protection.
This has changed since then, as 40 per cent of their customers are now employing them to patrol their neighbourhoods in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.
Ed Hill, who is the managing director of Intrepid Protection in London and ex-Royal Marines said his company’s clientele was changing from the super-wealthy to wealthy people who have a ‘lack of faith in the police and the judicial system’.
He said his employees don’t use security vans or hi-vis jackets – instead they have ‘ordinary’ cars for their patrols, so they ‘can intercept and intervene when there is suspicious behaviour’.
Mr Sucklin’s home is the furthest from the central policing hubs in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, he said.
After the spade of burglaries homeowners in Kimbolton (pictured) took matters into their own hands and hired a private security company to patrol the streets with dogs and marked cars
‘You see a policeman out here about as often as you see Halley’s Comet. In the aftermath of the burglaries, the community was really on edge,’ he told The Sunday Times.
‘The patrols have been a massive reassurance. We can also call or send a WhatsApp and get a car here within seven to ten minutes but sometimes, 70 seconds. It’s about pushing criminality out of this area.’
He said so many neighbours came together to pay for the security patrol due to the ‘strong sense of community’ in Kimbolton.
Mr Suckling’s Jeep resurfaced when it was spotted by a farmer in a field, who called the police.
It emerged that the Jeep had been used for other burglaries and the thief, who stole more than £160,000 in five months, was jailed for 12 years.
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