Tis the season to be jolly but West Midlands Police are reminding people to ‘Lock up, Lights on, Keys safe’ this winter following a spate of burglaries in the Maypole and Warstock area.
Within a one mile radius of the shops at Maypole there was a total 25 burglaries alone in October.
Ade griffiths from the Billesley Neighbourhood Team told B14 News “Since the incidents have been reported officers have patrolled the areas in question at regular intervals. Local and response officers carried out targeted patrols in the Warstock and Highters Heath areas around the clock. Letters have also been posted to local residents advising crime prevention measures and to inform them of the most recent events.”
“On 01/12/12 two offenders were arrested after a burglary was reported in Gorleston Road, Warstock. Both men were stopped by officers close by after an area search. One male was remanded in custody whilst the other has been bailed pending further enquiries.”
The dark evenings can provide perfect cover for an opportunist burglar who spots an open window in an unoccupied room; sees valuables through open curtains or blinds; or tries their luck on an unlocked door.
Chief Inspector Adrian Atherley, force lead for burglary, said: “House burglary is down by 16 per cent or 2,989 safer homes – in the West Midlands compared to the same period last year*, but we mustn’t be complacent.”
“Traditionally, the darker nights see a rise in reports of burglary and while we work hard to put burglars behind bars, it is vital that householders also take simple steps to protect their home. An inexpensive timer switch for your lights for example, is an extremely effective burglary deterrent as it appears you’re at home even when you’re not.”
Other simple burglary prevention tips include:
- Use door and window locks, even when someone is at home.
- Cancel newspapers and milk if the property is left unoccupied for a few days.
- Keep your shed and garage locked to ensure that garden tools can’t be used to – break into your home.
- Don’t leave keys in hiding places such as under doormats – it’s the first place thieves will look.
- Property mark your valuables and register them for free at www.immobilise.com
- Join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme or start up your own if there isn’t one in your street.
Former burglar Chris – recently released from prison – talks on film about his past offending and how he previously targeted vulnerable students who had not taken simple steps to protect their homes.