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Harrogate police launch campaign to clamp down on summer burglars

Don’t be caught out by opportunistic criminals taking advantage of the summer weather – that’s the message to homeowners from police in Harrogate.

Although the borough is a very safe place, sneak-in burglaries tend to increase during the summer months, as thieves gain access to properties through insecure doors and windows.

In July 2016, 20 dwelling burglaries – where someone’s home has been broken into – were reported in the borough of Harrogate, compared to 17 for the month of May.

In addition, 30 burglaries in July were reported involving non-dwelling buildings such as garages and sheds – also highlighting the importance of out-building security.

In general, in about one in four home burglaries, entry is gained by an insecure door or window – for example, an open downstairs window, or an unlocked back door.

DI Phil Coward, of Harrogate Serious Crime Team, said:

Burglaries tend to fall into two main types – the opportunist sneak-in thieves, taking advantage of the warm weather; and so-called ‘2-in-1s’, where the burglar breaks in or reaches through letter boxes to obtain car keys and steals the vehicle from the drive.

Any burglary can be devastating for the victims – or, at the very least, cause huge inconvenience – so it’s important that residents do everything possible to keep the burglars at bay. A few simple security measures will be enough to deter most criminals and protect your valuable property.

We’ll be carrying out proactive patrols over the coming weeks, and if every resident follows our advice, together we can make Harrogate a ‘no-go area’ for opportunistic criminals this summer.

Police have issued their top five burglary prevention tips to ensure everyone in the borough stays safe this summer:

  1. Keep your doors and windows locked at all times, even when you are inside your home
  2. Lock your front door behind you, and remove the key from the lock
  3. Keep your house keys, car keys, wallet and other valuables in a safe place, out of sight, and well away from doors or windows
  4. Pay particular attention when you’re outside in your garden, as you may not be able to see or hear someone entering your house
  5. Ensure sheds, garages and outbuildings are locked and secure at all times – tidy away bikes, power tools and garden equipment after you’ve used them.

For more home security advice, speak to your local police team, or visit

If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can also download North Yorkshire Police’s interactive home security iBook, available for free on iPhone and iPad – just search for “Securing your home” on iTunes.

North Yorkshire Police Twitter and Facebook accounts will also be publishing burglary prevention tips throughout the summer.

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