Dark evenings are a risk to home security

Property crime increases over the winter months, according to Bedfordshire Police.

The clocks will go back on Sunday (29 October), marking the start of the winter season. Burglars may take advantage of the shorter daylight hours to find easy targets.

Detective Chief Inspector Duncan Young, who leads Operation Fidelity, said:

“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.

“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.”

Simple steps to help to protect your home

There are simple steps you can take to protect your home at night, and during the day when it may be out.

  • 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 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 help 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. 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

 

Operation Fidelity

Operation Fidelity, the force’s dedicated response to burglary, is identifying long-term crime hotspots, short-term spikes and key offending patterns.

Officers are also carrying out disruptive tactics against known burglars.

Community policing and crime prevention teams will also be offering advice to residents.

How you can report a crime

Call 999 if you see a crime in process, or call 101 to report an incident.

You can also give anonymous information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Information on Cranfield’s Neighbourhood Watch group, is on the OurWatch website.

You can also join the force’s Neighbourhood Alert service, BedsAlert.