Locking out summertime thieves

As summer weather arrives, householders are being reminded to keep their home and garden secure. The arrival of warmer weather traditionally brings a rise in particular types of offenses.

Burglaries often occur when entry has been gained through open or unlocked doors, and ‘2-in-1’ burglaries where burglars have reached through doors, windows or letterboxes to access car keys.

“These crimes are nearly always opportunist. If the windows and doors had been secure they probably wouldn’t have happened in the first place,” says PC Graeme Davison, crime prevention officer at Durham police.

He offers the following tips to keep your property safe:

  • Do you know when sitting in one part of your home if the other is properly secured with closed, locked doors and windows? This includes sheds and garages. Even if it is very hot, don’t leave doors ajar and windows wide open. Consider using opening inhibitors which only allow you to open your window a small amount.
  • Do not leave vehicle keys on benches / window sills or ‘key racks’ near doors / windows or letter boxes.
  • Keep bikes, toys and garden tools secure overnight.
  • If you have a garden, think of how many items you have outside, such as a barbeque, patio furniture set, and garden ornaments. Where possible secure and indelibly mark your property inside and out.
  • Remember not to leave clothes on washing lines overnight, they could be an attraction for the opportunist thief.
  • Valuables should be kept away from benches or windowsills near open windows.
  • Double check your home, garage and garden before you go to bed.