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Burglar beware – thefts on the increase as dark nights draw in

Winter is almost upon us – the clocks went back last weekend (30 October) and the dark nights are drawing in, the weather is getting colder and the Christmas decorations are in the shops.

Sadly at this time of year we often see an increase in homes being broken into, mainly in the early evening. It’s believed that the offenders target homes that look empty, where the occupants are at work. With the cover of darkness to help them they break in to people’s homes from around 16:30 until 17:30 before people start coming home from work.

The Community Safety Team always put out the same message this time of year – to make your house look occupied while you’re out.  You can stop thieves from targeting your home with some simple actions. Using timers on lamps and radios so they come on when you are out is a cheap and effective way to make it look like someone is in and reduce your risk of becoming a victim. You can buy timers from most supermarkets and DIY stores. We also recommend that you join your local Neighbourhood watch. Your Local Watch scheme is the best way to help not only you, but your neighbours as well.

To make residents feel safer, the county’s Community Safety Partnerships will also be out in force to help reduce risk of burglary. The Police will be out patrolling, with Police Community Support Officers, Specials and Safer Neighbourhood Teams all involved. In Rugby, the Community Safety Wardens will out and about in hot spot areas too. Burglary teams will be targeting known offenders, making sure they know they are being watched.

Here are some more tips from the team to help you protect yourself against opportunistic thieves.

•Don’t hide spare keys; leave them with someone you trust. Burglars know where to look!

•Fit good locks to doors and windows. Use them!

•Change locks when you move into a new home

•Keep windows and doors secure when you are elsewhere in your home or garden

•Fit a good quality alarm from a reputable supplier

•Fit and use a door chain

•Find out about property marking

Together we can reduce the risk of burglaries. No one person can prevent this, but as community, we can make it more difficult for burglars to operate in Warwickshire.

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