Don’t invite the burglars to house-sit when you’re on holiday

Detective Inspector Glen Westmoreland, Sergeant Darren Bainbridge (in uniform) and Sales Consultant Kathryn Usher (from Dawson and Sanderson).
Detective Inspector Glen Westmoreland, Sergeant Darren Bainbridge (in uniform) and Sales Consultant Kathryn Usher (from Dawson and Sanderson).

Householders in Hartlepool are being given a stark warning that if they advertise their holiday, they are inviting burglars in.

Following a survey, Cleveland Police has revealed more than half of people advertise their empty home on social media.

It is important that people are vigilant about their security in every way possible.

Det Insp Glen Westmoreland

The online survey found that 58 per cent of people who were questioned had posted status updates or photographs of themselves out of their house, and 59 per cent of people also said that they did not know everyone who had access to their profile.

Cleveland Police questioned 100 people through the social media survey, as part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of burglary prevention and police action against burglars.

Alarmingly, 38 per cent of those that were surveyed said that they had been a victim of burglary, however, 18 per cent of these said they would still be likely or highly likely to post on social media about when they are out of the house.

Travel agents are now being asked to distribute crime prevention postcards to their customers to raise awareness of the dangers of posting on social media when they are going away on holiday.

Det Insp Glen Westmoreland, said: “Whilst not all burglaries occur as a result of victims being targeted through social media, it is important that people are vigilant about their security in every way possible to prevent them from becoming a victim.

“The survey that we have carried out has shown that some people are unaware of the risk that they are taking when posting on social media and in distributing these postcards, we are hoping to highlight that risk to those who may be booking holidays or going abroad or even just going out for the night.

“We would like to remind those people not to post on social media about being out of their home, especially if there are people who have access to their profile that they do not know personally.”