We need to make burglars’ lives as hard as possible

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Being the victim of a burglary is, obviously, not a nice thing.

That’s true whether all your life’s possessions are taken or nothing at all.

But the story we tell you today is particularly depressing.

War veteran Ian Waterhouse’s Purbrook home was targeted by crooks.

And beside a haul of watches and jewellery, the thieves took his long service and good conduct medals.

These were priceless and irreplaceable and destined to become family heirlooms.

To say he’s hurt is an understatement.

This is a man who’s put his life on the line for his country, not once but twice.

And how does this society repay him?

By stealing the things he values the most.

It’s a situation for which only the word despicable seems entirely appropriate.

The truly sad thing is these medals will probably be sold for pennies and disappear for good.

Of course we hope the thieves are reading this today and have a fit of conscience. But somehow we doubt it.

It certainly seems they were determined to get in, so they’re probably unlikely to give up their loot.

The situation also raises the issue of home security.

Yes, Mr Waterhouse’s home was secured. But the burglars still broke in.

There are some wise words of advice, though, from Detective Sergeant Simon Clacey on how you can reduce your chances of being a victim and we’d like to echo them here.

Something as simple as a timer switch on the lights can be enough to discourage burglars from targeting your home.

So why not make the small investment to give you that bit more peace of mind during the cold, dark winter?

Yes, these crooks shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing in the first place. But any chance we get to make it harder for them, we should take.