Friday, 28 October 2011

As clocks go back, do your bit to protect against burglars

It is that time of year, when darker nights are fast approaching and West Midlands Police are encouraging residents to think about home security.

The clocks will be going back by an hour on Saturday night (29 October), and officers are asking residents to act now to help secure their home.

Simple tips include:
  • Using a timer switch for lights. These are inexpensive and mean homes are not left in darkness to alert burglars to an empty property.
  • Using door and window locks, even when someone is at home.
  • Cancelling newspapers and milk if the property is left unoccupied for a few days.
  • Keeping your shed and garage locked - your tools could be used to break into your home.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is an effective way to keep your home and community safer. You can find details of how to join or set up a scheme from the partnerships officer at your local station.
Sergeant Andy Gregory said: "Many people will now be returning home from work in the dark and often forget to leave a light on, making it obvious to a potential burglar that the property is probably unoccupied. Homeowners should consider investing in time switches, windows should always closed and locked and, where available, house alarms set.

"Traditionally the number of burglary offences rises in the winter and we want residents to think about how they can help themselves by taking a few simple measures."

For further advice about keeping your property secure, see the force's website:

The burglary initiative comes at a time when West Midlands Police is showing a large reduction in house burglary. Over the last six months there have been 2,300 fewer victims of house break-ins (down 24 per cent) compared to the same period last year.

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