Essex: Police issue burglary prevention advice after clocks go back (From Maldon and Burnham Standard)
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Essex: Police issue burglary prevention advice after clocks go back
8:33am Monday 29th October 2012 in Local News
As the nights draw in, residents across Essex are being reminded about the need for enhanced home security as burglars look to advantage of the longer evenings.
Each year the force deals with an increased spike in home invasions, especially in the run-up to Christmas. As a result, neighbourhood policing teams and detectives are joining forces to highlight the basic, simple precautions people can take to avoid becoming a needless victim of crime and beat the burglar.
Evening and night-time high-visibility and covert patrols are being stepped up now that the clocks have gone backward, with officers looking to target the same vulnerable properties that career criminals will be focusing on – only hoping to get there first. Crime prevention advice will be given to those homeowners whose buildings are deemed not to be secure. Known offenders will be subjected to regular visits by officers.
DI Paul Maleary emphasises the need to plan security and ensure the home does not attract unwanted attention from burglars.
"Most burglars will avoid confrontation and are looking for an easy target,” said DI Maleary. "The last thing they want is to be caught in the act and if they see a potential target house but think the occupant may be at home, the chances are they will think twice. Therefore, when residents are away from home and leave a house in complete darkness, they are advertising their absence to would-be burglars. There is an easy answer to this – leave a light on.
"Leaving a light on or a radio playing when you’re out for the evening is a great deterrent. If you’re away for a longer period of time, use timer switches to save energy. A trusted neighbour or friend can also keep an eye-out on your property and push through any post that may be left hanging out of the letterbox which is a magnet to the thief.”
Most house burglaries are committed during the cover of darkness, but more so during darker afternoons and evenings rather than at night-time. If a home is empty each day until after dark, then having a couple of lights on a timer switch can give the impression someone is at home, especially if that light is not the usual landing light. Security lights which sense motion are particularly valuable at front doors as well as over paths at the side of the property.
Homeowners are advised to heed basic precautions like checking all doors and windows are shut and locked before leaving the home as three out of ten burglaries are carried out through open doors and windows. A padlock on all side gates add to an opportunist’s annoyance and any make-shift ladders, such as wheelie bins, should not be stored at the front of the property.
For more information on keeping your house secure visit http://www.essex.police.uk/burglary