Police step up patrols in crackdown on Hertsmere burglaries
PUBLISHED: 09:25 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:00 29 September 2017
Police have stepped up high-visibility patrols and will be visiting homes which have previously been burgled "to help prevent the anticipated rise in burglaries across Hertsmere as the evenings draw in".
Hertsmere Detective Inspector Graeme Walsingham said: “Hertsmere is unique in having three distinct towns – Potters Bar, Bushey and Borehamwood.
“Each town has a different issue with burglars, linked to its proximity to London.
“In Potters Bar, we tend to see homes specifically targeted for Asian gold after weddings and celebrations.
“We have been working with the Asian community to help prevent them becoming victims and would advise householders to make sure they securely lock away their valuable and sentimental jewellery, even considering safety deposit boxes.
“In Bushey, we tend to see offender(s) stealing car keys from porches and kitchens before driving off in, usually expensive, cars parked on the drive.
“I’d like to remind residents to make sure they keep their keys out of sight.
“Some offenders use a fishing technique where they do not actually go into the house but use a fishing rod-like implement to steal the keys through the letterbox.
“The easiest thing is to not leave your keys in easy reach in the porch.
“These offenders will probably try their luck elsewhere if they can’t pick up your keys quickly.
“In Borehamwood, offenders tend to steal electrical goods, like laptops and mobiles and jewellery or cash.
“Make sure you security mark your property and register it on the online database immobilise for free.
“If your property is stolen, you are more likely to be united with it.”
He said: “We are doing everything we can to reduce the amount of burglaries we tend to see at this time of year.
“My team of officers are working with Safer Neighbourhood Teams to specifically target streets which have statistically been more at risk from burglaries.
“We are giving out simple crime prevention advice and signing residents onto Neighbourhood Watch via the Online Watch Link (www.owl.co.uk) so they can receive free emails about crime trends, including burglaries, in their area.”
He said: “It can take less than five minutes for a burglary to take place and 65 per cent of burglaries occur between midday and 8pm. “But the good news is that the majority of burglaries could be prevented by occupants locking windows and doors and giving their homes the ‘lived in’ look.”
DI Walsingham added: “Consider installing a timer switch, ask a neighbour to park on your drive if you are away for a few days or on holiday and ask a neighbour to make sure your post is pushed properly through the letter box so it looks like someone is inside, collecting their post.
“Try to ensure parcels are not left on your doorstep by arranging for delivery when you are home, or they can be left with a neighbour.
“Obviously doors should always be locked when you leave your house and close all the windows.
“It’s not enough to lift their door handles, residents also need to double lock doors with a key.
“Make sure your shed or garage is secure as well.”
He added: “Although I take great pleasure in my teams arresting burglars, I would prefer residents to not have been a victim of crime in the first place.
“The thought of someone in your home can be very upsetting and some personal possessions with sentimental value are irreplaceable. “Let’s work together to make burglars unwelcome in the district and please call 999 if you suspect a burglary is in progress.”
•For further crime prevention advice, including a short video ‘Be Like Colin’, visit the ‘Protect Your Home – Beating Burglary’ page on www.herts.police.uk/crimeprevention