Householders are being urged to secure their homes after burglaries increase due to 50 per cent of victims leaving doors and windows open.
Figures show that between April to June this year, dwelling burglaries increased by 16 per cent across the county with 41 per cent of offences taking place in the eastern and northern areas of Bournemouth.
Whilst some of this can be attributed to recent changes in how we record crime, increases have occurred in Poole, Purbeck, Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth and North Dorset. Christchurch, East Dorset and the town centre and eastern areas of Bournemouth have seen an overall reduction in burglaries.
Detective Inspector Neil Wright, of the Dorset Police Priority Crime Team, said: “Recent data suggests that nearly half of all dwelling burglaries reported to us are as a result of thieves gaining entry through unlocked doors and windows with 27 properties being targeted in the last three weeks as a result of being insecure.
“Burglaries are often as a result of opportunity, rather than planning, which makes many crimes entirely preventable if homeowners follow some simple steps.”
Crime Prevention Advice:
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors
- Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
- Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault
- Install a visual burglar alarm and good outside lighting
- Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
- Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
- Make sure any fencing around your property is in good condition with hedges trimmed
- Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
- Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
- Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
- Mark your property with postcode and house number
- Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
DI Wright continued: “Over the past three months, victims have lost large quantities of cash, electrical items, vehicles and heritage jewellery.
“Please avoid keeping large quantities of cash in your and take photographs of your valuable jewellery pieces and keep a written record. This will aid police in returning any stolen property to you and will make it difficult for burglars to sell the items on without detection.
“If you are concerned about keeping your home safe, think you may be at risk to this type of incident or know someone who you think could potentially be a victim please contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team via the Dorset Police website, or call 101.”
If you have any information regarding burglary offending, please call 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.