We all have our part to play in reducing burglary (22 Oct 2015)

Dark _nights _2015_nightAs the evenings get darker earlier and autumn takes hold, West Yorkshire Police is reminding people of the simple steps we can all take to deter burglars from targeting our homes.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams has taken part in a short crime prevention video (below) and said:

"Reducing burglary remains a priority and we are committed to bringing offenders to justice. We all have a part to play in reducing these offences and there are simple steps we can all take to deter burglars from our homes, such as locking doors and windows and leaving a light on.

"Alongside the dedicated work of our Neighbourhood Policing Teams I would also urge people to think about others in their communities, especially those who may not realise they have an increased risk of being a victim of a burglary offence.

"We can help them take positive steps to make their properties more secure, such as reminding people not to leave keys in the back of a locked door, and storing valuable items out of sight when they are not in use.

"Vehicles can also be vulnerable. Make sure you don't leave valuable items in your car, or the boot,  remove change and gadgets, don't just hide them in the glove compartment. Even a coat on the back seat could tempt a passing burglar to target your vehicle. Always check that your vehicle is locked, and if you have a garage use it.

"Setting up or joining a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is also an excellent way to work together to prevent the area being targeted."

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said:

"One of my top priorities is reducing burglary - the invasion of someone's personal space and the theft of all too often irreplaceable belongings is an experience that makes people feel extremely anxious and vulnerable.

"I wholeheartedly support the campaign to encourage people to take simple steps to reduce their chances of being a victim of burglary with the longer nights already upon us.

"Putting victims first and making sure they have the right support is another of my top priorities and that is why I launched the website 'helpforvictims' - to help any victims and witnesses of crime when they need it most.

"The website has the Victims' Code and Witness Charter immediately accessible in a question and answer format.

"Also on the website are pages from over 400 supporting organisations with trained advisors on hand to answer questions or concerns.

"The website was put together with partners including Victim Support - an independent charity for victims of crime in England and Wales."

Chris Joyce, Force Crime Prevention Offer said: "Burglaries where offenders have snapped cylinder locks are still a significant problem in West Yorkshire.  Cylinder locks are the type mainly used on uPVC doors, and this method of entry still accounts for nearly one in five burglaries across the county.

"It's worth upgrading to locks which meet the latest national standards. It's fairly simple to do and you can find detailed information on the West Yorkshire Police website.

"It's quite often the case that the little things make a real difference and that certainly can apply to reducing the opportunity for burglary to occur.  People don't necessarily have to spend money on additional security, using what they already have and making changes to their routine around the home will go a long way."

"Using a timer switches to leave lights on when you're not home helps to make your property appear occupied. Removing laptops completely out of sight, putting charger units for electronic items in the drawer rather than plugged in and on show, locking doors and removing the keys from the lock, securing tools away in the garage or shed after use and using the security that is already in place are all things that are cost free and could assist in making properties less attractive to burglars."

View the new campaign webpage at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/burglary

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