Gadgets to fool holiday raiders

Community Liaison Officer Sarah Willis (left) and Sgt Tracey Whelan (right) with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers (left to right) Doreen Wilkinson, Jim Collings, Steve Maitland, Rose Newell and Doreen Elvin.
Community Liaison Officer Sarah Willis (left) and Sgt Tracey Whelan (right) with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers (left to right) Doreen Wilkinson, Jim Collings, Steve Maitland, Rose Newell and Doreen Elvin.

AN innovative device that makes would-be burglars believe homes are occupied when residents are away forms part of new “holiday kits” being offered to Neighbourhood Watch members.

The “fake TV” being offered by Peterlee Police, through the Safer Homes Scheme, is actually a flashing light that resembles the flicker of a television, making houses look like they are occupied.

Also being offered in the kits is an “auto-dialler” sensor which connects to telephones and if an intruder walks past, it will automatically ring a neighbour or relative if someone has broken in.

Also forming the kit are light timers, shed alarms, property markers and screws which can’t be undone to fool burglars who have been unscrewing shed doors to gain entry.

The £2,000 scheme is new to the Peterlee Police area.

Five kits have been handed out to Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, who will loan them to East Durham holidaymakers when required.

Sarah Willis, Peterlee Police’s community liaison officer, said: “If they prove popular, which I’m sure they will, then we will order more kits.

“I think it’s an absolutely fantastic scheme. They can be quite expensive to buy.

“They make people feel safer if they are on holiday and are a great incentive to join Neighbourhood Watch.

“If people aren’t part of Neighbourhood Watch I would urge them to join.”

The incentive is only open to Neighbourhood Watch members.

There are 350 Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Peterlee and Seaham, covering more than 10,000 homes, with more being established.

The Safer Homes scheme sees Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators trained to give crime prevention advice and they can also refer a householder to the County Durham Handy Person Scheme if a professional is needed to fit items such as key safes, security lights, or door and window locks.

To get involved in Neighbourhood Watch, call Sarah Willis on 101 ext 6702617.