May Crime Prevention Blog

May Crime Prevention Blog – Shut It Lock It! by Crime Prevention & Architectural Liaison Officer Gerry McBride

This month, to support our current crime prevention campaign, 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 or 33% are via this method.

There is something simple that I would like you all to do, it is common sense, but we just need to ensure that it becomes common practice. Shut it Lock it! We still aren’t securing our doors and windows, which, is making it even easier for a thief. 
We often see a spike in walk in burglaries as the sun gets out, and thankfully, after a long cold winter, we’ve had some lovely weather recently. If you’re out back, in the garden, make sure that you are locked up at the front. If you can’t see the door, lock it!

So, this month the advice is simple, Shut it Lock it! Get into the habit of locking your doors and removing keys and keeping these keys in a safe but handy place, should you need to grab them in a hurry. You can do your bit by telling your family, friends and neighbours too, listen for the tell-tale sounds, of a chain being taken off, or a door being unlocked when you visit them, then point out to them that they are making it easy for a thief to get into their home. They should be happy that you care and are looking out for them.

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, even via the cat flap, or simply picked up by the thief when entering an insecure property. Keep keys out of sight.

• Get into the habit of locking your doors and windows, as soon as you get in or are outside. Don’t leave keys in the door, or by the door keep them out of sight in a safe place
• Secure windows
• Many burglar alarms have a ‘chime’ feature. If there is an alarm 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

Burglary can have a devastating effect on the victim. Follow these simple steps to keep you, your family and belongings safe.
If you have any information about a crime contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.