'Keep it locked' advice
Dated: 25 Feb 2010
Police are advising residents to make sure they keep their homes secure at all times after burglars have taken advantage of unlocked houses.
Detectives are investigating 25 burglaries in North Tyneside over a four week period from January 14, half of which have happened at insecure homes. In two of these crimes offenders also stole a car when they carried out the burglary.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Paterson, North Tyneside area command said: "House burglary is at a very low level across the borough and we want to see this downward trend continue.
"Burglary has reduced by 46% for the period October 1, to December 31, 2009, compared with the same period in 2008 from 169 crimes down to 92. But it's disappointing that in many of these recent crimes burglars have simply let themselves into homes through unlocked doors or windows during the evening.
"These types of crimes are easy to prevent and don't cost residents a penny, only a moment of their time to make sure they lock up. Householders with UPVC doors need to make sure they always turn the lock on their door to keep their homes safe from unwanted intruders. It's a good habit to get into and can save you from counting the cost of losing valuables, and most importantly, your peace of mind.
"If you have any concerns about crime in your area call your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 03456 043 043 ext 69191. By taking simple crime prevention measures we can make sure the overall crime downward trend continues."
Crime prevention advice:
Regardless of whether you are in or out, always lock external doors.
- Never leave windows open when you are out and think carefully about which ones you have open when you are in.
- Install window locks, especially on older windows, to help stop people getting in.
- If you have deadlocks, use them. They make it harder for a thief to get out again. However, don't leave the key near the door or in an obvious place.
- Don't leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed. Motor vehicles are among the most expensive items we own. Put car keys and garage keys out of sight in the house.
- Burglars are interested in small portable items like MP3 players, digital cameras, mobile phones and cash. Keep items locked away.
- Use timers for lights and radios if you need to be away from home overnight.
- Visible burglar alarms, good lighting, and carefully directed security lighting can put burglars off. Make sure that lights don't disturb your neighbours, and that alarms turn off after 20 minutes.