Posted on 15th October 2013
Police are warning residents to protect their homes against criminals as the darker nights draw in.
In the last year, there has been a 12 per cent drop in the number of house burglaries across Derbyshire, but there is often a seasonal rise as opportunist thieves take advantage of the dark nights to target homes.
Safer Neighbourhood teams will be stepping up patrols, targeting known offenders and going door to door delivering crime prevention leaflets.
Officers are also urging residents to take steps to protect their homes from being targeted by criminals, such as fitting burglar alarms where possible and keeping valuables out of sight.
Community Safety Partnership Chief Inspector Brian McKeown said: “A reduction in burglaries across Derbyshire is very pleasing to see. At this time of year, as it becomes darker at an earlier time, it is definitely worth checking your home security to reduce the risk of being targeted as much as possible.
“Thankfully, there are some simple techniques to help you do this. As it gets dark, it’s easier to tell when a home is unoccupied so it makes sense to introduce some simple security measures to create the impression that someone is at home, such as the use of timing switches on lamps.
“This not only helps to deceive burglars but it also reduces the chance that your home will be targeted. Timer switches can ensure your lights are automatically switched on before you get home.
“Switching on lights before you go out is another option but remember to draw your curtains to stop people from seeing inside your property."
Security advice offered by police includes:
Do not leave any valuables lying around where burglars could see them and store small, high value items and banking documents in a safe or a secure, discreet location
Ensure that your property is secure and windows and doors are locked even when you are at home
If possible have a burglar alarm fitted to your premises
Mark valuable property with a UV pen so that if it is stolen and recovered by the police, it can be reunited with its rightful owner
Remain vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police either on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also pass information to Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.