October Crime Prevention Blog 1

An Introduction to National Home Security Month by Crime Prevention & Architectural Liaison Officer Gerry McBride

To coincide with National Home Security Month I will be publishing a series of articles, one each week, containing top tips and advice to help keep your family, home and belongings safe this winter.

This week I’m focussing on ‘walk-in burglaries’, which, as the name suggests means that the burglar has simply got into your home through an unlocked door or window.

Just over 11 years ago I was working in the Hartlepool area, where I was visiting every household that had fallen victim to this type of crime. One thing that stuck in my mind was that a lot of the householders I was visiting still weren’t regularly locking up their homes. I knew this because I was listening for a chain to be taken off, or the noise of a key turning in the lock whilst waiting for the door to be answered.

Fast forward 11 years and the problem of walk-in burglaries still exists! One in three burglaries are committed in this way, where no forced entry is made.

This week the advice is simple, lock it or lose it! Get into the habit of locking your doors and removing keys and keeping these keys in a safe place.

A lot of car keys are also stolen using the walk-in method, this is often termed a ‘2 in 1 burglary’. Car keys are often ‘fished’ through a letter box, or cat flap!

My advice is:

• Get into the habit of locking your doors and windows as soon as you get in or if you go outside.
• Don’t leave keys in the door, or by the door. Keep them out of sight in a safe place.
• Secure windows.
• Set your alarm overnight.

Burglary can have a devastating effect on a victim. Follow these simple steps which may help to keep you, your family and belongings safe.
If you have any information about a burglary contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.