POLICE have urged people living in rural villages to become nosy neighbours in a bid to combat burglars who are preying on isolated homes.

PC Emily Grigor, who leads the community policing teams in Marlborough and Pewsey, said: “We have put on extra patrols in villages such as East Grafton, Upavon and Aldbourne where there have been break-ins.

“We are urging everyone who to keep a look out for anything suspicious and to report cars that are seen parked up.

“We want people to be nosy neighbours and curtain twitchers as we rely on people living in these communities to be our eyes and ears. We can’t be everywhere at once but if we are told about something we can react.”

She said she had visited an elderly man who was one of the victims of a burglary in East Grafton. She said: “He was coping quite well but it is a horrible thing to happen. When a house is burgled it feels like your private space has been violated.

She urged people to be particularly vigilant in the run up to Christmas.

PC Grigor said her team would also be attending parish council meetings and liasing with neighbourhood watch groups to make sure information was circulated and advice given on the best way to keep homes safe.

In one break-in in East Grafton jewellery was taken including a gold cufflinks engraved with CRB and a pair of Marylebone Cricket Club member’s cufflinks in red and yellow.

In Aldbourne a house at Crooked Corner was broken into last week and jewellery stolen after a window was smashed and earlier in the week thieves struck in Upavon, near Pewsey and Second World War memorabilia was taken.

Det Con Cerys Powell said:“Understandably, the homeowners are upset and distressed.

“A large number of items were stolen during the burglaries which happened in broad daylight. Many of the stolen items are of huge sentimental value.”