Hartlepool’s top detective has said that people who leave their windows and doors open are “playing Russian Roulette with their personal belongings.”
Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Jon Green is urging residents to keep their doors and windows locked so they are not gambling with the chance that they will become a victim of burglary.
He says it takes only seconds to turn a key and lock up, and that those who don’t are giving an open invitation to offenders.
While incidents of burglary have reduced by 22% over the last twelve months, the town’s leading detective believes that one third of these crimes could have been prevented by people simply locking up their homes.
The call comes as part of the Light the Night Against Crime campaign, which aims to reduce burglary at this time of year as it gets darker, earlier. Criminals often use the cover of darkness in which to commit their crimes. As part of the campaign, residents are also asked to light up their homes if they are left unoccupied.
Leaflets will be posted discretely through letterboxes of homes that are found to be left in darkness with the message ‘If we have noticed your home has been left in darkness, so would a burglar.’
DCI Jon Green said: “The stark fact is that burglars relish the chance of gaining entry into an insecure property, it’s often too easy for them to enter and leave without being seen. These criminals are opportunistic in nature; they will try door handles and will usually move on if a door is locked with the hope that the next is open.
“Burglary is down across Hartlepool and we are working under the banner of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership to continue to reduce incidents even further, residents can help both their local officers and themselves by ensuring that their doors and windows remain locked, even when they are in the property.”