Cllr Laura McNamee said: “Having fallen victim to a cat burglary myself, I know how having your house burgled can be a deeply traumatic experience with the feeling that somebody has invaded your personal space.
“I have been contacted by several people who have been a victim to this crime and it appears that cases of burglary are escalating in East and South Belfast.
“We have lobbied for increased police patrols across East Belfast, most recently, in Ballyhackamore further to a residents survey, and it is my hope that an increased police presence may deter people from committing crimes in the first instance, and in so doing, create safer neighbourhoods. Residents themselves can reduce the likelihood of being burgled by ensuring that their property is properly secured with all doors and windows locked. This is particularly important if the house will be empty for several days.
“I would encourage anyone who has witnessed a crime to report this to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 in order to provide PSNI with as much information as possible to assist them in clamping down on domestic burglaries.”