June Crime Prevention Blog

Walk In Burglaries! By Crime Prevention Architectural Liaison Officer Gerry McBride

1 This month I’m focussing on ‘walk-in burglaries’, which, as the name suggests, means that the burglar has simply gotten into your home through an unlocked door or window. A staggering 1 in 3 burglaries are carried out via this method!

Some people still aren’t ensuring that their front doors are locked. I know this because when I visit people for work I listen 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.

We often see an increase in walk-in burglaries during the summer. We’ve had some lovely sunny weather recently, the smell of barbecues filling the air, householders making the most of the sunshine and eating outdoors. I like to spend time in the garden, and when I do, I always make sure the front doors and windows are locked – which everyone should do!

This month my advice is simple, lock it or lose it! Get into the habit of locking your doors, removing the keys and keeping these keys in a safe but handy place should you need to grab them in a hurry. Tell your friends and neighbours too, and listen for the tell-tale sounds when visiting them, then look out for them by pointing this out if they aren’t locking up.

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, on one occasion recently, a cat flap!


• Get into the habit of locking your doors and windows, as soon as you get home or go out. Don’t leave keys in the door, or by the door. Keep them out of sight in a safe place.
• Many burglar alarms have a ‘chime’ feature. If there is a contact on your front door, this can generally be programmed to make a sound when the door is opened, however, don’t rely on this method alone, because you may not always hear the sound it makes.
• Set your alarm overnight.

Burglaries can have a devastating effect on victims. Follow these simple steps to keep you, your family and your belongings safe.

If you have any information about a crime, please contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.