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Locals leave open invitation to burglars

Crime Alert

Open windows and unlocked doors allow thieves easy access in up to half of all local household burglaries.

According to Hertfordshire police, more and more people are removing the need for burglars to break in, and police fear an increase in such incidents as the warmer weather approaches.

Police say that even in those domestic burglaries where the windows were closed and the doors locked, the houses are often inadequately secured against intruders.

A new appeal is being made, in print, on the air and online, to alert people to the importance of locking their homes properly.

Local Neighbourhood Watch organisers are also being alerted.

Superintendent Steve Hughes is head of crime reduction for Hertfordshire Constabularly. He says the force is determined to see a reduction in the number of burglaries suffered by residents in towns and villages.

"Burglars are often opportunistic, looking for an insecure building to get into to steal property and ignoring the places where they might have to force their way in. If your home, garage, shed or outbuilding is properly secure, the risk of it being burgled is greatly reduced. There is always a much easier target," he said.

Police have issued a five-point home security checklist ...

  1. Lock all doors and keep windows closed, preferably locked, when you are out
  2. Fix heavy duty locks with back plates to sheds and garages -master locksmiths can advise on the best locks to use
  3. Consider installing alarms and security lighting
  4. Donít leave ladders and tools outside (burglars could use them to help break in)
  5. Secure your rear garden - shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained.
For more advice about security you can contact a Crime Prevention Officer by calling your local police station on 01707-638100 or visit Hertfordshire Constabularyís website.

The police have also set up an online facility for reporting non-emergency minor crime.

You can discuss crime issues in this site's forum.

3 April 2003

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