23 October 2007
In three out of ten burglaries, thieves do not have to use force. They get in through an open door or window. The following 'top tips' have been drawn up to help reduce the risk of burglary:
Close your windows - in just under one third (30%) of burglaries with entry, the thief gained access through an unlocked door or open window. Make sure doors and windows are locked, particularly when leaving the house.
Lighting - leave a light on to give the impression there is someone at home. 58% of burglaries take place in the evening or night and 34% occur at the weekend. Time switches can be fitted to operate when you are out.
Secure all doors - if your front and back doors are not secure, neither is your home. Thieves are most likely to target doors when attempting to break in (67%). Check the condition of the frames, hinges and glass panels. Fit such devices as chains and door viewers. Patio doors will also need special fitted locks.
Garages and Sheds - are often left unlocked and may be full of tools ideal for breaking into the rest of the house. Half of burglaries in 2001-02 involved some form of property damage. Fit sheds and garages with strong padlocks and ideally an alarm. Always lock ladders in the garage or shed, to stop a thief using them.
Bogus callers - in 4% of burglaries, thieves used false pretence to gain entry to a property. Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people call with the intention of tricking their way into your home.
They are known as "distraction burglars" or "bogus callers", whose aim is to get into homes to distract people and steal their money or valuables. Home Office leaflets gives advice on how to stop the bogus caller getting into your home, by following the "Lock, Stop, Chain, Check" method.
If you are unsure about the person at the door, do not let them in.
IF IN DOUBT - KEEP THEM OUT!
Crime Prevention Officer - contact the crime prevention officer in your local police force or local council, who will be able to give you advice on making your home and your belongings secure.
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