Don’t be victim of summer crime

POLICE chiefs are urging people to keep their property safe as the weather takes a turn for the better.

They say the sunshine and higher temperatures can see a rise in opportunist burglars taking advantage of people heading outdoors.

Cleveland Police are launching a force-wide campaign to remind households to take simple precautions to not become the next victim.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts said: “One in three of the burglaries that take place in the summer months are sneak-ins, where the offender enters the property through an unlocked door or window, especially at the rear of the property.

“Officers will be delivering leaflets with footprints on through any unlocked door or window throughout the Force area, to serve as a warning to householders that while this time it was only a paper footprint, it could very easily have been a criminal one and the outcome would have been very different.”

He added that it only take a few extra seconds to secure your home and is asking people to:

Lock all doors and windows including the small ones you believed to be safe.

l If you leave a window open while sleeping, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened or make sure they are not large enough to allow access;

l When out in the garden, ensure that windows and doors to the front of the house are locked, including those to your garage;

l Do no leave valuables on display on window ledges or in reach of open windows or doors;

l Ensure that all barbecue and garden equipment and tools are securely locked away and out of sight;

l Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars;

l Don’t leave any keys near the entry points where they can be “fished” or “hooked” out through the window, letterbox or cat flap;

l Ensure any internal handle-operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key;

l Those heading away on holiday are asked to make sure their homes are locked, not to advertise the fact on social network sites, set alarms and ask friends or family to visit the property.