Today (Monday, 22 October) sees the launch of Operation Candlelight, an initiative focusing on reducing dwelling burglaries in Surrey.
‘Are you on a burglar’s to-do list?’ is the message from Surrey Police during the two-month initiative which aims to help householders get in the mind of a burglar and understand what they look out for prior to committing the crime.
We traditionally see a rise in burglary offences over the autumn and winter months with the longer, darker nights and increased spending over the Christmas period. By encouraging residents to see their property from a burglar’s point of view, we hope to influence a long-term behavioural change and reduce burglary offences. As part of the initiative, Surrey Police will also be carrying out additional operational activities targeting high risk areas and known offenders.
Detective Superintendent Ray Blythe said: “With the clocks going back this Sunday (28 October) there is no better time to start thinking about your own house and what you can do to ensure it is not on a burglar’s to-do list.
“Simple steps like taking a minute to put your car and house keys out of sight or putting stickers on your windows letting people know your property is marked could be all it takes to make an opportunist burglar decide it is not worth their while targeting your property.
“Being burgled can have a hugely detrimental effect on the victim and we will not tolerate this kind of offence in our communities. Working with the public to reduce offences is just one part of this campaign; we will also be targeting those who are known to offend in the county.”
You can dramatically reduce the chances of being burgled by taking just a few simple measures:
Never leave door or car keys, wallets or handbags within reach of a letterbox, door or window.
Make your house look occupied when nobody is home by using an automatic timer to switch interior lights on and off.
Set your burglar alarm whenever you leave your home. If you don’t have an alarm, we recommend you get one fitted.
Always close your windows when you are out, and ensure French windows and patio doors are secure.
Dispose of packaging carefully. Empty boxes left outside can advertise to thieves what they can find inside.
Going away? Cancel milk, newspaper and other regular deliveries and ask a friend or local Neighbourhood Watch scheme to keep an eye on your home.
Mark your valuables with a property marking product and place signs and stickers around your home, making it clear that your property is marked. Photograph your valuables and keep a description of them.
Always secure your shed and garage and don’t leave ladders or other tools outside which could help a burglar gain access to your house.
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