Rise in burglaries during hot weather

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Police have seen a large increase in the number of burglaries during the hot weather.

Since the period of sustained hot weather started at the beginning of July until this week there have been a total of 144 house burglaries reported in Warwickshire, with 160 house burglaries across the West Mercia force area.

In Warwickshire 30 out of the 144 burglaries, (20.8%) have taken place where the householders have provided opportunities for thieves to enter their homes without having to force entry.

Equally alarming in West Mercia police area 50 of the 160 burglaries (31.1%) reported have been put down as sneak-in burglaries, where the householders again have left windows or doors unlocked.

In one policing area 44 percent of the burglaries between July 1 to 25 were recorded as sneak-ins.

Andy Nolan, Detective Chief Inspector, local investigations, North Warwickshire said: “The easiest way to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of burglary is to make sure you check all the doors, patio windows and downstairs doors are locked before you go to bed. If you are in the house and you move to another room, close the window in the empty room. If you are going out go round and check that all the doors and windows and closed and locked, before you go. It only takes a couple of minutes.

“People believe their house is their castle and that they will never be burgled. But if you leave a door or a window unlocked, it is an open invitation for a burglar to come in.

“Even leaving a small window open can give a burglar the chance to get in. It is surprising how tiny a space some people can squeeze through, or they may be able to lean through and use a device to reach in to open a larger window.

“Some burglars don’t even have to go inside, if you leave your mobile phone or hand bag, car keys, lap top or other valuable items within reach of an open window, they can just lean in and take them.

“Others climb in through the window then use keys left in the door lock, to let themselves out, enabling them to carry larger items out through the door.”

“Almost every day we see reports of people who have come home, or who have woken up to find that burglars have been inside their home and taken property they have worked hard to buy. Yet if those people had taken a couple of minutes to make sure they had locked their doors and secured their downstairs windows the chances are they would still have their belongings

“Even more distressing for the householder is when they then find that because there is no evidence of a forced entry to their home, they learn their insurance does not cover them for the loss.”

In order to improve security at your home consider adopting the following crime prevention tips:

· Lock your front and back doors, even when you are in the house or when you go into the garden.

· Before you go to bed make sure all downstairs windows, the patio doors and the front and back door are firmly closed and locked – not just pulled to.

· Don’t leave keys in the door lock. Keep them somewhere safe, but out of view of anyone looking through a window or through the letter box.

· Consider having a bell attached to your doors so you can hear if someone comes in.

· Keep valuable items away from window sills so they cannot be taken by someone reaching inside the window.

· Mark your property so if it is stolen it can be identified as belonging to you. You are more likely to get it back if it is stolen, and it could help convict a burglar.

· Never leave your handbag, wallet, briefcase or other valuable items near the door when you come in, a sneak-in thieve could nip in behind you and take it.

· Lock the door behind you when you come home from work, school or from shopping.

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are focusing on reducing house burglary through Operation Citadel, a proactive campaign to target those who commit burglary and to increase awareness of crime prevention for householders.

Download free tracking software for all your electronic equipment at http://preyproject.com/

Register your valuables on www.immobilise.com

If your property is registered it can be traced if it is recovered.