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'Don't be an easy target' - Police warning over unlocked doors and windows

PUBLISHED: 13:28 07 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 07 June 2017

Police have issued a warning over unlocked doors and windows. Picture: Antony Kelly

Police have issued a warning over unlocked doors and windows. Picture: Antony Kelly

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010

Residents have been urged to keep their doors and windows locked when they are out over summer to prevent becoming an easy target for thieves.

It follows new Suffolk police figures which show that more than a third of residential burglaries in April and May this year were as a result of insecure doors and windows.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said: “Whilst we have seen a slight drop in insecure home burglaries, the summer months are popular for thieves as more of us spend more time outdoors. It’s important that we all continue to take security seriously and lock up – even if you’re in another area of the house or in the garden.

Of the 185 burglaries reported to Suffolk police over the two months, 65 were due to a lack of security - a 7pc decrease on last year’s figure for the same period.

Det Supt Smith said thieves were opportunistic and worked quickly.

She said: “Typically, they will look for the easy option by looking for gaps in security and are often not afraid to try door locks. If they see an easy way to enter a property and steal something valuable, sadly, they’ll take it so I would urge people not to leave valuable items such as laptops and jewellery in view of windows.

“Remember to keep garages and outbuildings secure too as burglars look for utensils to help them break into homes. Be neighbourly by looking out for your local community and always report any suspicious activity to police. If you believe a burglary to be in progress always dial 999.”

Police advice to help keep your home safe

LOCK

• Lock all doors and remove the keys before leaving the house.

• Keep front doors locked even when you are at home and especially if you are in the back garden.

• Close all windows fully before you leave the house, lock downstairs windows and remove the keys.

• Use window limiters to allow air in instead of keeping windows fully open, even when you’re at home.

• Install window locks on upstairs windows that can be easily accessed by a flat roof.

• Lock back gates using a sturdy lock such as a closed shackle padlock to no less than CEN 3-4 security grade or 5 lever lock.

LIGHT

• Make your home look lived in – use timer switches if you’re not home.

• ‘Dusk-to-dawn’ sensored security lighting is a cheap, low cost way of making sure the front of your home or shed/outbuilding is well-lit.

• Visible burglar alarms can make burglars think twice; get specialist advice and consult your insurance company.

• Hedging and shrubs to the front of your property should be pruned to no higher than 1m and trim trees up from the ground to 2m. This will allow a clear line of sight across your property and will stop the garden being used as a hiding place.

HIDE

• Keep your valuables, jewellery, cash, passport and deeds to your property in a safe.

• Never leave spare keys in an open place. Be aware, burglars know all the usual hiding places so never leave a spare key under the doormat or under a garden gnome.

• Keep dustbins and wheelie-bins away from fencing/gates as these can be used by thieves to climb into windows or used to escape.

• Make sure valuables are property marked. Take photographs and keep a note of any serial numbers.

• Don’t leave equipment and tools lying around that can be used by burglars to break into your home, such as hammers, shovels or gardening tools. Keep ladders locked away and out of sight.

For more security advice visit www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z.

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