Police crack down on burglaries in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 09:41 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:41 17 October 2017
Hertfordshire Constabulary is urging residents to take simple steps to secure their homes from burglars as the clocks are set to go back, bringing darker afternoon and evenings.
This year burglary levels have increased compared to the same period last year, up 44 per cent between April 1 2017 and October 15 2017, when compared with the same period in 2016.
Every year burglary tends to increase during the autumn and winter months as the afternoons get darker, making it easier for offenders to identify unoccupied homes, which are often left unlit.
A police spokeswoman said: “Throughout the autumn and winter police will be focusing on burglary as a priority, providing residents with advice on home security, property marking and general crime prevention.”
Safer neighbourhood officers will be holding crime prevention events across the county giving away free burglary prevention packs and offering advice on keeping homes and valuables safe.
Residents can make their homes more secure by following some basic crime prevention advice such as:
• Use timer switches on a lamp, radio or TV set so that they turn on as it gets dark in the afternoons.
• Make a habit of checking that ground floor windows and doors are closed and locked when you leave the house or go to bed. Upstairs windows should be locked when the house is unoccupied.
• PVCu doors must be locked by lifting the handle and turning the key to ensure all the security features are in place.
• Car and house keys should be kept out of sight in a safe place. Don’t leave them on display on window sills, in porches, hallways or kitchens.
• Secure your rear garden by shutting and locking any gates. Burglars can use garden tools, like ladders to break in, so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use.
Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “Tackling the increase in burglaries this year is a top priority for the police, who will be visiting many residents and helping them to secure their homes.
“Crime is comparatively low in Hertfordshire and residents can play a big part in keeping burglary down and preventing themselves becoming a victim, by making sure their homes are secure, reporting suspicious behaviour and joining a neighbourhood watch scheme.”
Chief inspector Sian Lockley from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit said: “Burglary has increased this year, but residents can take action to protect their homes.
“Criminals avoid breaking into occupied homes.
“If you give your home a lived in look, by using a timer switch to turn on a light or tv, then criminals will avoid your home.
“Many people do not remember or do not know to double-lock PVCu doors, by lifting the handle and turning the key to engage all the safety features.
“Also obvious things like closing all windows and locking garden gates and garages – it’s surprising how many burglaries would be prevented by simply doing these things.”