LIGHT up your homes and help beat the winter thieves in time for the clocks going back.
That’s the message from crimefighters in Hartlepool who are holding advice sessions throughout the darker months to help people protect their property.
Clocks go back one hour at 2am on Sunday as British Summer Time officially ends.
The extra darkness provides good cover for thieves with burglary figures rising as the longer nights creep in. But householders can take a few simple steps to scupper criminals’ plans.
Operation Duracell, which has been launched in the town, will see plain-clothed police on the streets.
Crime prevention officer PC Steve Cranston was due to hold an advice session from 11am-1pm today in Hartlepool’s Central Library, in York Road. He said: “The nights drawing in provides more of an opportunity for burglars. At this time of the year, the number of burglaries rises.
“There are things that can be done to try to prevent being targeted. If a home looks lived in it is less likely to be targeted.
“These precautions include using timers on lamps and keeping a house well lit, keeping a radio on while out, keeping windows and doors locked and using a door chain and a door viewer when in the house.
“Anyone going on holiday should cancel deliveries of newspapers and milk and should ask friends or relatives to ensure that letters aren’t left sticking out of letterboxes.”
Crime prevention advisor Colin Hopkins has organised two more advice sessions at A&G Lighting Showroom, in Ladysmith Street, on the Longhill Industrial Estate, Hartlepool.
One will run from 2pm-4pm tomorrow and the other takes place from 2pm-3pm on Friday, November 4.
The first four visitors tomorrow will get a free timer for a light. Other crimefighting tools will be on sale.
Mr Hopkins, who is based at the York Road community safety office, said: “It is an important time of year for thinking about home security.
“The addition of a light or a lock can make a world of difference.”
Firm boss Alan Harrison, who has run the business for six-and-a-half years, said: “This is the time of year when lighting becomes very important.
“It is important to get the right light to do the right job. These sessions will help with that.”
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