It’s a simple fact: as soon as people start to jet off on their summer holidays, burglary rates go up, even in low-crime boroughs like Richmond.
That’s why Richmond Council and the local police are offering advice to Richmond residents on how to keep their property safe this summer.
Here are some top tips from Operation Lockout, the joint Council and police initiative against theft from homes:
• Make sure your house looks lived in, even when you’re away on holiday: cancel milk and newspaper subscriptions, don’t leave all the curtains shut, and set automatic timer switches to turn the lights on at night.
• Get a neighbour to pick up your post for you or use the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service so post doesn’t build up on your doormat and reveal that you’re away.
• Don’t talk about the fact that you’re going away where untrustworthy people might overhear.
• Mow the lawn before you go, and cut back any shrubbery that burglars could hide behind. Make sure you secure and bikes or tools in your garden too.
Sir David Williams, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “I think one of the worst things that could happen on holiday is a call from the police saying ‘your home has been broken in to’ but there are basic steps everyone can take to protect their property and keep the thieves away.
“It might sound obvious, but make sure every single way into your home is locked, even tiny windows, and if you’ve got one, make sure the burglar alarm is on and that your garage is locked up.”