Operation Castle - Burglary advice ahead of the winter months
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Since the introduction of Operation Castle last year, we have seen a 25.7% decrease in home burglaries as well as an 11.4% decrease in all other types of burglary. However, as winter approaches, we often see an increase in burglary and similar crimes.
As a force, we are committed to protecting communities and reducing crime, therefore we take burglary very seriously. There are many simple steps you can take which can help to secure your home, deter criminals and prevent you being a victim of burglary.
Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “Recently in Merseyside, we’ve seen some fantastic results regarding burglary. Between July of last year and June of this year, there has been 2,400 less burglaries than that same time period the year before. However, with shorter days in autumn and winter, people’s homes are left in darkness for longer, giving criminals more opportunity to break in. Taking advice given by the police can help make life as difficult as possible for them and decreases the chances of your home being targeted.
"Improving security features like locks and alarms, and making sure your house always looks occupied can make a big difference. There are many resources on our website and social media accounts for those looking for help.
"Often people are either forgetting to both push the handle up as well as turn the key, or they are leaving it unlocked while round at a neighbour’s or elsewhere in the house. Opportunists can try dozens of handles in a street and it won’t be long before they find one that opens.
"It is very important that people are extra-vigilant this time of year and ensure that they take home security seriously. Many burglaries can be prevented by taking very simple measures such as ensuring all windows and doors are locked, even when at home.”
Some simple advice to keep your home safe this winter:
- Remember to lock all your doors and windows, even if you are at home.
- Keep all your valuables out of sight.
- Fit outside security lighting.
- Report any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood. Many crimes are prevented and people arrested after members of the public report unusual or suspicious activity to the police.
- People who have UPVC doors are reminded to fully secure them. If you simply lift the handle you will NOT fully engage all of the locks into the frame. You MUST also double lock the door using the key.
- Remember to remove keys from doors once they are locked.
- Don’t advertise new items you may have bought such as electrical equipment to people by leaving the empty boxes outside your home. Try to dispose of the packaging carefully by taking it to a recycling centre or keep it out of sight until the day your rubbish is collected.
- During the dark nights, use a light timing device to switch the lights on.
- Don't leave your car keys on display (on window ledges/worktops) and don't leave them by doors or windows where they could be grabbed with a hook or cane.
- Always check your front and back door are secure even if you are in, burglaries can often occur via insecure back doors whilst residents are at home.
- Secure your shed and garage properly. Don't leave tools lying around these could be used to help offender gain entry to your home.
Look out for those in your local community, keep an eye on properties whilst neighbours, family and friends are away or out. You can find out more about Neighbourhood Watch schemes @N_Watch or go to https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/.
More information on how to keep your home safe can be found at https://www.merseyside.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/keep-your-home-safe/ and https://www.merseyside.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/
Remember, you can report suspicious behaviour to @MerPolCC, call 101, or get in touch with @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.