Bedfordshire Police is reminding the public of important home security advice ahead of the clocks going back this weekend (Sunday 29 October).
During the winter months, offences against properties which are perceived to be empty tend to increase. This is either because the occupants are out of the house as the evening draws in, or because there are no lights or sounds to indicate that the property is occupied.
The force’s dedicated response to burglary, Operation Fidelity, sees officers from across the force working together to tackle burglary. As the clocks change, officers will continue to work to identify long-term crime hotspots, short-term spikes and key offending patterns, as well as investigating offences and carrying out disruptive tactics against known burglars. Our community policing and crime prevention teams will also be offering advice and reassurance to local residents.
Detective Chief Inspector Duncan Young, who leads Operation Fidelity, said: “The winter months are our busiest time for burglaries, and as we enter the time of year where the nights are darker and longer, we remain committed to driving down burglary in Bedfordshire. We understand that burglary is hugely distressing for victims, and so it’s vital we do what we can to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“At this time of year we’re taking the opportunity to remind members of the public about the steps they can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime. We have found historically that properties that don’t look ‘lived in’ are targeted, and so in particular I would encourage people to invest in timers for lights. If you are going out, make it look like you are in.
“Burglary is a priority for Bedfordshire Police. All of the officers who work on Operation Fidelity remain utterly committed to clamping down on burglary offenders, and making Bedfordshire a safer place for everyone.”
The clocks will go back on Sunday, marking the start of the winter season. Burglars may take advantage of shorter daylight hours to operate, but there are simple steps you can take to protect your home at night, and during the day when it may be unoccupied.
- Use your lights at home – keep them on a timer when you are out so it looks like someone is home
- Make sure all doors on your house and vehicle are securely locked at all times. If you have a UPVC door at home, make sure it is double locked
- Keep all valuables and keys safely out of sight from windows, both in your home and car. Close curtains with a light on indoors.
- Never leave garages or sheds unlocked – not only can valuable tools be appealing to thieves, they can also be used to force entry to your home
- Don’t hide your keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place a would-be offender will look
- Ask a friend to keep an eye on your house when you go away, and do the same for neighbours by remaining alert to suspicious activity in your street
- If you spot someone behaving suspiciously, contact police immediately
- Don’t forget to security mark your property and register it on www.immobilise.com
Bedfordshire Police takes all reports of crime seriously. Call 101 to report an incident, or 999 if a crime is in progress.
You can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. To join or contact your local Neighbourhood Watch group, visit www.ourwatch.org.uk.
You can also join our Neighbourhood Alert service, BedsAlert, for more related messaging here: www.bedsalert.co.uk.