Almost 30% of burglaries in Conwy and Denbighshire happened at insecure properties.
This startling figure rose to over 40% in the months of August ’12 and October ’12 according to statistics for the past 12 months.
The figures are being released by North Wales Police as part of a two-fold drive to reduce the number of offences and encourage residents to keep their homes secure – whatever the weather.
“As the warmer weather increases, so does the temptation to leave windows and doors open during the day and night – which is why we are urging householders to remain security conscious,” said Detective Inspector Sion Williams, who is leading on the initiative.
“Burglaries are down 12% compared to the previous 12 months however we cannot escape the fact that many more could have been avoided,” added DI Williams. “Sadly, a door left ajar or an open window could prove more than enough of a temptation for an opportunist thief to strike. It is therefore important for people to remain security conscious and maintain personal security so that criminals don’t get the chance to exploit opportunities associated with the summer time.”
From April 2012 to March 2013 alone 490 burglaries happened in Conwy and Denbighshire – 146 of these were in insecure properties.
Since 1st April 2013, burglaries in the Denbighshire area have reduced by almost 5% and police are determined to keep them on a downward spiral.
Much work is already underway across Conwy and Denbighshire to tackle the issue and reduce burglaries. Members of the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been speaking to residents individually and at specific events about home security. Posters and leaflets have also been produced and are in the process of being distributed in a further effort to drive home the importance of keeping homes secure and out of reach of the sneaky thieves. Regular feeds on the forces Twitter and Facebook accounts will also be issued on the subject.
“Once inside a property, offenders will take anything that is of value,” added Insp Julie Sheard of Community Safety. “Laptops, handbags, mobile phones and anything left visible inside a home have been taken. Along with taking the simple steps of closing doors and windows, residents can also help themselves by making sure they security mark their property and taking advantage of registration schemes such as Immobilise.”
“Marking your property can also prove an effective deterrent to would be thieves,” Insp Sheard. “If your property is clearly identified it will be more difficult for a burglar or thieves to sell on the item. Another advantage is that should you become a victim of crime or if you lose the item – you increase the chance of having the property returned to you.”
Advice to residents
Residents can take positive steps to help avoid becoming a victim of crime by:
• Make sure that all windows are closed and locked, even when you are at home or in the garden. Use the security measures on modern windows, which allow them to let some air in but are still locked.
• Only have ground floor windows open if you are to be in that room for a period of time.
• Do not leave upstairs windows open when you are going out.
• Always lock your front door from inside - in particular UPVc front doors are often left unlocked when people are in their house.
• Do not leave back doors open or unlocked if you are to be upstairs for any length of time.
• Keep all valuables out of the line of sight of prying eyes, never put car keys or purses on window-sills or in view of a window or door. Always avoid keeping large amounts of cash in your house.
• Lock away all your garden tools and equipment including ladders. Secure your shed and garage properly.
• Use a good quality padlock on a back gate.
• When going on holiday make sure milk deliveries are cancelled, that post is collected and if possible get friends or family to check on your property.
For more information on home security click here to visit our advice and support section.
Residents are being reminded to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, call North Wales Police on 999 if it is an emergency or dial101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.