Police urge people to step up security this spring and summer – to stop burglars targeting homes

Police in Cumbria are urging residents to close any window of opportunity to burglars – by being security conscious this spring and summer.

Criminals can sometimes exploit warmer weather by looking for open windows to reach into or trying unlocked doors, knowing people may be relaxing or working in the garden.

Officers are keen for people to follow simple tips to stop thieves in their tracks and make sure everyone enjoys the next few months with the peace of mind their property is safe.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Andy Myers oversees Operation Themis, which is Cumbria Police’s response to and focus on burglaries.

He said: “Being burgled, especially in your home, can be extremely traumatic.

“Cumbria is a safe place to live and we have a much lower number of these types of invasive crimes than in many other parts of the country. However, we always take this type of offence extremely seriously.

“Simple changes in the seasons such as darker nights or warmer weather can provide opportunities for burglars.

“But simple measures such as making sure windows and doors that are not in your sight are locked can go a long way to preventing crime.

“I’d also urge people not to leave valuable possessions or keys near to windows or doors as this might provide an opportunity for a thief.

“Most burglars are opportunists and will actively look to take advantage of any relaxed attitudes. If you home is secure, this makes their job much more difficult – and they are likely to move on.”

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of household burglaries are down in Cumbria by 18 per cent.

T/Det Supt Myers said this result demonstrated the seriousness with which the constabulary treats residential burglaries, knowing the impact it had on people.

He said: “We’re pleased to see the number of household burglaries go down – but we are never complacent and are always seeking to improve the service we give our communities.

“Our officers work under the remit of Operation Themis, which sees senior officers focus on and review every residential burglary that is committed, ensuring each offence gets the necessary specialist enquiries.

“What we are asking here is for the public’s support. We’d ask people to take measures as much as they can to help prevent these offences.

“For instance, people should be cautious with providing details on social media that could accidentally help burglars.

“At this time of year people might be heading off on holiday soon.

“It is important to be careful with any social media posts you publish as you may inadvertently advertise your home to criminals.

“Please ensure your privacy settings are robust and locked down so any posts are only seen by those you would be comfortable sharing such information with.”

T/Det Supt Myers added people should not to leave out gardening equipment or tools overnight – as this could also provide burglars with easy pickings.

He added: “We would also encourage you to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity you witness.

“By reporting information, this not only helps inform us of potential criminal behaviour but it can lead to robust action being taken and offenders being brought to justice.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, David Allen, said: “No one wants to feel vulnerable in their own home which is why prevention is so important.

“The more secure we can make our property, the more difficult we make it for opportunistic criminals to target us.

“As a former Crime Prevention Officer I would urge the public to follow the advice of the police around keeping yourself safe and secure and report any suspicious or criminal behaviour to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“If you have been the victim of burglary and are struggling to cope, there are services in Cumbria that are here to help: Victim Support Cumbria can provide emotional and practical help to victims of any crime – they can be contacted on 0300 303 0157.”

Follow our advice on protecting your home during the warmer months:

  • If you’re enjoying the garden, make sure your front door is locked and any windows a thief could reach are closed.
  • Don’t leave valuables in sight.
  • Lock all doors and windows before you go out.
  • Make sure your house and keys are secure before you go to bed.
  • Don’t leave downstairs windows open after you go to bed.
  • Always pack away tools after a day in the garden or doing DIY – make sure they’re locked away and out of reach.
  • Remove keys from locks and keep them out of reach and out of sight, not on a hall table.
  • Make sure valuable are not stored in vehicles overnight.

Got information or need to contact police?

 

You can find more crime-prevention advice here: Protecting your home from crime | Crime prevention | Cumbria Police


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