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I was violated when burglars struck, says Charles.

The Prince of Wales yesterday spoke of his own feelings of being "violated" after a burglary as he opened a roadshow dedicated to reuniting victims of crime with their property.

The Prince was speaking after Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon, announced that the burglary rate in the capital had fallen to a 20-year low.

Launching the 21st Operation Bumblebee roadshow at Wembley Stadium, the Prince recalled the 1994 burglary of his St James's Palace home when jewellery, cufflinks and papers were stolen.

He said: "I speak as someone who has suffered from a burglary and I do have some idea of the kind of intrusiveness that can leave victims feeling violated and unsafe in their own home." He joked: "Although in my case I am lucky to have a large number of Metropolitan Police officers standing outside my home.

"I would say, from my case, that if you are going to be burgled make sure it's by an Italian burglar who then gives it back."

Earlier, the Prince had been shown round the roadshow where some of the estimated pounds 40 million worth of unidentified stolen property was on display.

He also met burglary victims and was given tips on how householders can make their belongings more secure.

The Prince told some 300 guests who had been invited to a preview of the roadshow, ahead of its opening to the public yesterday afternoon, that the Metropolitan Police's anti-burglary initiative, Operation Bumblebee, had been "enormously successful".

Since the first Operation Bumblebee roadshow six years ago, around 1,500 people have been reunited with property stolen from their homes.

The Prince spoke of the sentimental value often associated with property stolen in burglaries. Among the people he spoke to was Mrs Veronica Fanthorpe, who found her engagement ring at a roadshow 26 years after it was stolen in a burglary on her home in Epsom, Surrey.

Mrs Fanthorpe told reporters afterwards that the ring had been stolen from a dressing table in her home in 1971, but had turned up at a Operation Bumblebee roadshow held at Epsom Downs in 1997.
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Title Annotation:National
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 27, 1999
Words:350
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