Warwickshire Police launch winter burglary crackdown

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Warwickshire Police have launched their winter burglary campaign now that the clock have gone back.

The Darker Nights campaign started this week to coincide with the clocks going back and will run until early January.

It will also incorporate the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) national burglary and stolen goods awareness campaign which will run from November 18 to 22.

Top of the list for crime prevention tips that will protect your home is to ensure your home does not look as if no one is at home as the darker evenings draw in.

Crime Manager for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, Superintendent Graeme Pallister said: “A house in darkness gives a strong indication to burglars that there is no one at home. So we are urging people to turn a light on at home if it will be dark before they get home from work.

“One of the best ways to do this is to use timer switches, which can be set to come on at specific times.”

And to mark the launch of the Darker Nights burglary campaign Safer Neighbourhood Teams are distributing electric timer switches to vulnerable homes as well as delivering postcards which give a list of top tips to increasing home security.

Supt Pallister said: “Domestic burglary has been steadily falling throughout Warwickshire, but in common with the rest of the country, we do see a small spike in the number of burglaries in people’s homes around the time that the clocks go back in recent years.

“This is why we want people to make sure they carry out a few simple steps to reduce the chances of being burgled.”

Among the advice being issued are:

• Set the timer switch to turn your lights on when it gets dark.

• Lock your doors, patios and windows, even when you are in. Double check them again before you go to bed.

• If you have a burglar alarm, make sure you set it when you go out, and before you go to bed.

• Don’t leave car keys, ID cards or valuables near windows, doors or letterboxes, where burglars can reach through to steal them.

• Lock your garden gates and side entrances. Don’t leave tools lying around in the garden that could be used to break in to your home.

Property marking using ultra violet pens, or purpose designed liquid markers such as Smartwater and registering valuable items on the national property register www.immobilise.com which is a free service, are recognised by the police as effective ways of helping to ensure that if you are unfortunate to be burgled you will have a better chance of getting your property back.

Throughout Warwickshire and West Mercia a number of proactive initiatives are currently in operation focusing on reducing burglary, while others are being planned to counter any rise in burglary in coming months.

Ron Ball, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I welcome this timely reminder from Warwickshire Police, highlighting where taking a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.”