North Yorkshire Police are asking householders to review their home security now that dark nights are with us once again.
The warning comes following a spate of burglaries including three in the Harrogate area, two in the Hambleton District and one in York in the last few days.
Three burglaries were reported in the Harrogate area on Monday 29 October 2012, in Grantley Drive, Providence Terrace and Primrose Close in Killinghall.
All took place between 7am and 6pm. Electrical items were stolen in each incident including an iMac, iPad, laptop and television. During the burglary at Killinghall, items of jewellery were also stolen including a silver Pandora charm bracelet and charms and costume jewellery.
Detective Chief Inspector Heather Pearson who leads the force’s dedicated burglary team under Operation Haven, said:
With the dark nights now with us, it’s important that your security is as robust as possible. Before the cold weather sets in, there is still time to get outside and give your property a security overhaul to ensure your home, outbuildings and boundaries are as secure as possible.
We see an increase in burglaries at this time of year and have introduced a dedicated team to help prevent and detect these crimes. However, we need householders to be security conscious and make sure they make life as hard as possible for criminals.
Hambleton – a house was broken into in the village of Deighton near Northallerton between 12pm on Sunday 28 October and 11.30am on Monday 29 October, cash and bank books were taken.
In another incident, near the village of Husthwaite near Thirsk, an isolated property was broken into by thieves forcing entry through a downstairs window between 1pm and 5pm on Monday 29 October 2012. An amount of cash and a electrical items were stolen.
York – a property under renovation in Hall Rise, York, was broken into overnight on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 October. The thieves stole tools and building equipment.
Selby – two Leeds men aged 50 and 20 have been arrested today in connection with a number of burglaries in the Selby area, they are currently in police custody.
Skipton – in another incident in Skipton in the early hours of 30 October 2012, two men were arrested on suspicion of burglary and going equipped for burglary after a member of the public reported suspicious activity in the Gargrave Road area. They are a man aged 24 from Bradford and a man aged 32 from Rhyll, North Wales. They are currently in police custody.
Crime prevention measures range from the most basic and cost free to more expensive items such as tracking devices and alarm systems. Making sure you take even the most basic measures is essential.
35% of all burglaries across England and Wales are committed by opportunist thieves
Remember to lock all your doors and windows, even if you are at home (make sure you know where the keys are)
- Leave a light on when you go out
- Hide all your valuables – including car keys – away from prying eyes.
- Fit outside security lighting
- Remove all tools, ladders and other implements from your garden as these can be used to break into your property
- Review your boundary security, make sure your gates and fences are in good condition and that outbuildings, sheds and gates have sturdy locks.
- When planning your garden, factor in thorny bushes around vulnerable boundaries
- Trim your hedges to take advantage of natural surveillance by neighbours and try not to have heavy, lose objects in your garden such as rocks and bricks which can be used to break windows
- Be nosey – report any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood. Many crimes are thwarted and people arrested after members of the public report unusual or suspicious activity to the police.
- Take our security self assessment on the force website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/crimeprevention
- Review your locks, upgrade your Euro-cylinder locks to one that is specifically designed to prevent lock snapping, known as Break Secure.
Consider fitting Euro-cylinders
Euro cylinders are mainly fitted to uPVC doors but some aluminium and wooden doors also use this type of lock.
If you have a Secured by Design door fitted after 2010 you can be confident that it will have a “Break Secure” lock. Please note this applies only to Secured by Design doors and not all doors.
A qualified locksmith can offer a full installation and upgrade service to meet your needs; or a replacement break secure euro cylinder can be purchased from any recognised DIY store.
All new cylinder locks should bear the new standard, TS007 which was introduced earlier this year.
If you have a traditional night-latch (commonly known as a Yale lock) fitted to your doors, do not rely on this as the only method of security. You must fit other locks, preferably deadlocks
The most common types of burglary are:
- Sneak-in – opportunist and unplanned. Sneak-in burglaries tend to be committed by local offenders with a good knowledge of the local area. More often than not, these offences are opportunist with no pre-planning. Usually carried out by drug addicts to pay off their drug debts. They take full advantage of people who leave their valuables on show and doors and windows unlocked.
- Two-in-one burglaries – “2 in 1 burglaries” are where the thieves break into a house to get their hands on the keys to vehicles parked on the drive. These offences tend to be organised and pre-planned and are usually committed by offenders from out of the county. Often the vehicles are stolen to order and only a small number are recovered, mainly in the West Yorkshire area. The Harrogate, Craven and Selby districts are often targeted by this type of criminal, travelling over force borders from West Yorkshire.
- Forced entry – forced entry burglaries are usually organised with an element of planning and targeting with the offenders having an idea of the property they wish to steal.
- Distraction burglaries – distraction burglaries are where the householder is tricked by a caller into allowing them into their home with the intention to steal from the property or deceive the householder into parting with property or cash. This is particularly distressing crime as offenders often target the elderly or vulnerable. Crimestoppers’ research shows the average age of a victim of distraction burglary is 81. Victims of distraction burglary can suffer physically and emotionally with some suffering a decline in health as a result of the trauma caused.
Lots of preventative work is being carried out across North Yorkshire and the City of York by the police, partner agencies and utility companies to give help elderly and vulnerable people stand up to these people.
Watch the video at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/boguscallers