Police Warn About Festive Burglaries in North Yorkshire
4:48pm 4th December 2012
(Updated 4:49pm 4th December 2012)
North Yorkshire Police are warning residents to secure their homes as they begin anti-burglary patrols in the run-up to Christmas.
Officers say they will be on the look-out for vulnerable properties, including those with unlocked doors, and will leave a calling card if they spot any homes at risk.
Police say around a third of all burglaries committed in North Yorkshire are carried out at insecure properties where people have left a door or window unlocked.
Officers want to drive home the message that something so simple as locking your door, closing and securing a window - even when you are at home - could help prevent a burglary.
Detective Inspector Ian Dyer, of York CID, said: “Burglaries increase at this time of the year and over the past few days we have seen a spate of burglaries across North Yorkshire and the City of York, with almost a third committed at insecure properties.
“With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, thieves know homes will be filled with expensive gifts and will be on the lookout for unlocked doors and windows, gifts on display under the Christmas tree and houses left in darkness.
“By taking the most simple, basic steps to protect your belongings, you can stop a thief from ruining your Christmas.
“It’s worth stopping to add up the total value of your belongings, then compare that with how much you have invested in protecting them. It’s probably very low in comparison.”
DI Dyer added: “Investing in security upgrades is well worth it. Burglary can mean much more to victims than the loss of possessions. It can leave them feeling scared, violated and vulnerable. If items are not insured, it can also lead to financial as well as emotional strain. A burglary over the Christmas period will definitely ruin the festive holiday period for you.”
North Yorkshire Police give this basic crime prevention advice:
- Remember to lock all your doors and windows, even if you are at home (make sure you know where the keys are)
- Leave a light on when you go out – use a timer switch – a 20 watt low energy bulb costs 2p for four hours
- Hide all your valuables - including car keys - away from prying eyes.
- Fit outside security lighting
- Remove all tools, ladders and other implements from your garden as these can be used to break into your property
- Review your boundary security, make sure your gates and fences are in good condition and that outbuildings, sheds and gates have sturdy locks.
- Be nosey - report any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood. Many crimes are thwarted and people arrested after members of the public report unusual or suspicious activity to the police.
- Review your locks, upgrade your Euro-cylinder locks to one that is specifically designed to prevent lock snapping, known as Break Secure.
- Add up the value of all your belongings, then work out how much you spend on keeping them secure.
North Yorkshire Police say you can ring them on 101 to report a crime, or if you see a crime in progress or your safety is threatened, always dial 999. They add that you can pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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