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Burglary warning as clocks go back

27 Oct 2017

Police are urging residents to check their home security as the clocks go back and the evenings start to draw in.

With more homes empty after sunset, officers are concerned the number of burglaries could rise.

However, an increase in crimes over the darker months could be avoided if homeowners take a few simple steps.

In the six months from November last year to April this year (inclusive), 1238 homes were burgled in the county. During the previous six months (May-October 2016) 1051 homes were burgled, meaning offences rose by 17.8 per cent over the autumn/winter months.

Detective Inspector Andy Tolley said: “Burglary is a priority for us and we’re working hard to catch offenders and bring them before the courts.

“However, with the clocks going back this Sunday (29 October) offences can start to increase.

“It is usually an opportunist offence so there are steps people can take to remove the temptation for burglars. Keeping possessions out of sight and making it seem like someone’s at home are two good starting points.”

 Police are offering the following advice:

 ·     Install good lighting, for example exterior lights with dawn-to-dusk sensors and an alarm.

·      Use timer switches. These can be linked to lighting or even a radio giving the impression that someone is at home and can be switched on through mobile phone applications.

·     Close your blinds or curtains at night, preventing people from looking into your home. If your children are home first from school encourage them to close curtains and blinds first.

·     Keep windows and doors secure, and lock side gates, even if you are at home. 

·    Do not leave spare keys hidden outside – a burglar will always look for these first.

·    Mark your valuables – with your post code and house number – or garden and shed equipment with a spare can of paint or even nail varnish.

·    Do not leave car keys near the front door or anywhere easy to find.

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