WILTSHIRE Police are holding crime prevention sessions in Swindon following a spike in burglaries.
Since July 31 there have been seven residential burglaries in Stratton and three in Highworth – considerably more than normal for these areas.
It is thought that due to the warm weather, more people are leaving doors and windows open creating more opportunities for burglars to gain access to homes.
There have been several incidents whereby offenders have used garden furniture to climb to upstairs windows left ajar.
Wiltshire Police, in association with Swindon Borough Council and the Bobby Van are holding two crime preventions sessions to arm members of the public with the information they need to stop them becoming victims of burglary.
These sessions will be held on Wednesday between 10am – 12noon at the Grange Drive Community Centre, Stratton and 1pm – 3pm outside the parade of shops Beechcroft Road, Upper Stratton.
If you are unable to make this event you can call 101 to speak to a Crime Prevention Officer who will be happy to talk to you or to speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on your behalf.
Crime prevention advice:
SECURE ALL DOORS
Remember, if your front and back doors are not secure, neither is your home.
* Make sure the doors and frames are strong and in good condition.
* Fit back and front doors with a five-lever mortice deadlock – and use it.
* Fit all exterior doors – top and bottom – with bolts. Remember to fit all security devices with strong screws or bolts.
*Glass panels on or around the door are especially vulnerable, so replace them with laminated glass.
*Get specialist advice from a Master Locksmith on fitting locks to patio doors.
*Fit both French doors, top and bottom, with a security mortice lock and mortice bolt.
SECURE ALL WINDOWS
A third of burglars enter properties via back windows.
* Easily visible locks may deter some thieves, because a window lock forces the thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention. DIY shops sell inexpensive key-operated locks to fit all kinds of window.
* Fit key-operated window locks to all downstairs windows and that easily accessible upstairs window, eg. Those above a flat roof or by a drainpipe.
* Even small windows such as skylights or bathroom fanlights need locks – a thief can get through any gap larger than a human head.
* Remember to remove keys from locked windows and to keep them out of sight in a safe place but ensure you have a fire escape route planned.
Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice.
Lights on in the house need to give the impression that someone is in, so leaving only a hall or landing light on is not good enough – after all, how many of us spend our evenings sitting on the stairs?
* Usually a living room and a bedroom light on timer switch will give a good impression of occupancy.
* Curtains need to be closed so that lights coming on do not make it easier to see what is available to steal in a room that evidently has no occupants.
GARAGES AND SHEDS
Often full of expensive tools ideal for breaking into the rest of the house – and often left unlocked.
*Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house – a thief could get in and work on the inner door in privacy.
* Fit shed and garage doors with a strong padlock and make sure that they are solid enough not to be kicked in.