A PIONEERING scheme to beat burglars is to be re-launched in Huddersfield.
The Biteback scheme aims to stop people from repeatedly falling victim to burglars. It was set up in the town in the mid-1990s.
Police from forces both in the UK and abroad came to see it in action.
Now, it has been beefed up in a bid to bring down the town's burglary toll.
Det Chief Insp Colin Prime, head of Huddersfield CID, said: "People used to be told that once they had been a victim of crime that was it and lightning wouldn't strike twice.
"The sad truth is that, when it comes to crime, lightning can strike twice.
"Thieves have been known to return to the scene of their crimes and burgle homes again. They know vulnerable spots and how to get in. Once inside, they also know the layout.
"Sometimes they target neighbouring houses, because they may have the same weaknesses."
Det Chief Insp Prime added: "Research shows that prolific offenders are responsible for a significant proportion of crime and return to the same location.
"There is a likelihood that if you don't improve your home security, you could become a victim again."
Every burglary victim already gets a visit from the police, but from Monday the new crime-busting scheme will swing into action.
There will be three levels of response - bronze, silver and gold - which increase the more times a person falls victim.
* Bronze: This is the response people get after the first burglary at their home.
Experienced officers, known as crime scene visitors, will go to see victims and give them a home security survey, pointing out where thieves could get in again and giving general crime prevention advice.
The victim will also receive a letter from a specialist crime reduction officer offering more in depth advice.
* Silver: After a second burglary at the same house within a year, the victim will receive a visit from a crime reduction officer and police patrols will be stepped up in the area.
* Gold: After a third burglary the police will consider putting in specialist crime-fighting gadgets. But they are not giving any more details about the equipment they will use. Police patrols will be increased even more.
Det Chief Insp Prime added: "Every time there is a burglary, officers will also visit neighbouring homes and let the occupiers know thieves have been active in their area, so they need to look at improving their own home security.
"We hope people will respond positively to the home security survey after a burglary and upgrade their security to stop it happening again.
"After all, their insurance companies will probably demand it anyway," he said.
The police have worked closely with Kirklees Council housing officials on the scheme and the council has pledged to quickly repair council homes which have been burgled and also upgrade security in line with police advice.
The council will be given a copy of the home security survey for its properties which have been burgled.
James Denton, the council's repeat victimisation co-ordinator, said: "We are committed to making sure council houses are as secure as possible for our tenants."
And he said that the council was employing a security firm to do the repeat victimisation security work, so an extra burden would not be put on Kirklees Building Services.
Det Chief Insp Prime said local housing associations and Huddersfield University chiefs had committed themselves to the scheme in a similar way to Kirklees.
He added: "The fight against repeat victimisation was pioneered in the mid-1990s.
"Now, we are taking it a step further and hope to make even more improvements as we go along."
Related stories and messageboards