Now that the clocks have officially turned back, Staffordshire Police are reminding residents to take extra steps to keep burglars at bay.
As the Autumn nights are drawing in earlier, burglars are taking advantage of the longer hours of darkness.
University students tend to be the targets of opportunist crimes, especially at this time of year.
Staffordshire University Police Liaison Officer PC Simon Stone said: “If it’s a typical terraced house, a student house, there might be five or six students living there and you think one student has secured the doors and they haven’t.
“For the opportunist criminal, that’s brilliant. They will go down checking so many doors, one door is open and they’re in there and they come away with five laptops, tablets and mobile phones.”
For Staffordshire University, recent months have been better for crimes such as these, PC Simon Stone added: “I want to thank students this year, from welcome week we posted a letter making sure students secure their property because there are criminals out there who target students and check houses because they know students leave their houses open.
“What I want to thank them for is the burglaries have been very low. I’m on my fifth year at Staffs University as a Police Officer and it’s one of the lowest few months I’ve had for burglaries.
“Touch wood, always touch wood, but on the same side we can’t be complacent, we’ve got to make sure we push students to make sure they lock their doors and don’t leave anything on display in their windows.”
So, what are some easy ways that you can prevent burglaries?
- Always keep doors and windows locked, even when you’re in. Remove the keys from the lock and keep them out of view or reach.
- Use timer switches to turn lights on when you are out. Alternate the times and lights that you use.
- Make sure your alarm and any outside lights are in working order. Always activate your alarm when you leave the house and go to bed.
- Don’t leave items of value on show through ground floor windows (i.e. laptops, tablets, phones or car keys)
- Lock your garden gates and side entrances. Keep ladders and tools securely stored away, don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.
- Look out for your neighbours, especially the elderly and report any suspicious activity immediately.
- Consider joining Staffordshire Police’s Smart Alert scheme when you can receive localised crime alerts and prevention advice from your local police officers.
For a more in-depth guide, follow the link: https://www.staffordshire.
To report a crime please call 101, or 999 immediately if the crime is in progress. You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image: PC Simon Stone