Southend Police are stepping up evening and night-time high-visibility and covert patrols now that the clocks have gone back, with officers looking to target the same vulnerable properties that career criminals will be focusing on.
Over the coming weeks crime prevention advice will be given to some homeowners, and known offenders will be subjected to regular visits by officers.
Don't let your home become an easy target for the burglars who love to take advantage of the dark evenings. You can protect yourself with some simple but often overlooked measures.
One in three burglaries is a result of windows and doors being left open or unlocked, even when you’re at home. So reduce your chances of being burgled by keeping all vulnerable doors and windows locked. As darkness is set to fall earlier, then what may have been a job taken care of in the evening should now be considered at 3pm. To a burglar a dark house is an empty house.
If you are going out for the evening, or if throughout the winter months you return home from work after dark, then use a timer with a light to give the impression that someone could be at home. Of course burglars are aware that these devices exist, but are far less likely to take a chance on a property showing signs of activity.
If you're going to be away for any length of time, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close curtains and check your house on a regular basis. If you have an alarm ensure you use it, set it before you leave. If you don't have an alarm system it may be worth investing in one, or if this is outside your budget a dummy box can act as a deterrent.
To a burglar, a dark doorway is an opportunity to hide. Fit a security light over your front door, the last thing the burglar wants is to be thrust suddenly into the spotlight!
There are things the opportunist burglar will look out for:
Each of these makes access to the building far simpler and is an indication to the prospective burglar that it's worth a second look.
Don't leave the burglar a key!
Burglary is a despicable crime that has a massive impact on victims and also affects other residents who may live in fear of burglary when there is an increase of it in their area.
Suspicious activity of a non-emergency nature can be reported directly to Southend Police on 0300 333 4444 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress you should use the 999 number.
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