Hertfordshire residents get burglary advice - from burglars

RESIDENTS are being advised how to make their house safe from burglars – by other burglars. In an innovative new operation by Hertfordshire Constabulary to crackdown on thieves, police have released guidelines on what burglars look for before

RESIDENTS are being advised how to make their house safe from burglars - by other burglars.

In an innovative new operation by Hertfordshire Constabulary to crackdown on thieves, police have released guidelines on what burglars look for before deciding to break in to a home.

The information comes after police interviewed hundreds of ex-offenders over a six-month period, in an attempt to better understand the mindset of burglars.

Detective superintendent Mark Drew said: "This new approach has given us an invaluable insight into how burglars operate.

"It provides us with specific and accurate information which can help us tackle burglary and gives us an insider's view on how to deter a burglar."

Much of the information is a reminder to homeowners to double lock UPVC doors and set burglar alarms, but further advice - such as not leaving garden tools out in the open - may come as a surprise to some.

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"If it was the burglars themselves who told you the one piece of equipment they would want to find outside your house is a spade, [to break in with] I think that might give people a good reason to lock it away," detective supt Drew said.

There was a 27 per cent decrease in burglaries in the county from April 2008 to April 2009.

In that same period, Hertfordshire Constabulary solved 480 more burglaries than the previous year.

Det supt Drew said while the new initiative would hopefully serve as a strong deterrent to potential burglars, the new arrest figures also showed there was a good chance those that did offend would be caught.

In Welwyn Hatfield, there was a 34 per cent reduction in house burglaries between April 2008 and April 2009.

For more advice, or to take a quiz on how secure your home is, visit www.herts.police.uk.

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