HARTLEPOOL’S leading detective has issued some advice to homeowners to prevent them becoming victims of burglary in the run-up to Christmas.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green has been delighted to see burglaries drop by 22 per cent in Hartlepool over the last year.
But he says people are still “playing Russian Roulette with their personal belongings” by failing to lock doors and windows.
Det Chief Insp Green issued his advice to coincide with the launch of the Light the Night Against Crime campaign, which aims to reduce burglary at this time of year as it gets darker, with thieves using the cover of darkness in which to commit their crimes.
As part of the campaign, residents are also asked to light up their homes if they are left unoccupied.
He pointed out it takes only seconds to turn a key and lock up, and that those who don’t are giving an open invitation to offenders.
And he believes that one third of these crimes could have been prevented by people simply locking up their homes.
Leaflets will be posted discreetly through the letter boxes of homes that are found to be left in darkness with the message “If we have noticed your home has been left in darkness, so would a burglar.”
Det Chief Insp Green said: “The stark fact is that burglars relish the chance of gaining entry into an insecure property.
“It’s often too easy for them to enter and leave without being seen.
“These criminals are opportunistic in nature.
“They will try door handles and will usually move on if a door is locked with the hope that the next is open.
“Burglary is down across Hartlepool and we are working under the banner of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership to continue to reduce incidents even further.
“Residents can help both their local officers and themselves by ensuring that their doors and windows remain locked, even when they are in the property.”