Police target “unusual” burglary increase in Fens with plea for householders to lock up
PUBLISHED: 12:36 02 December 2010
HOUSEHOLDERS are being reminded to lock up as part of a police campaign targeting an “unusual” increase in burglaries in the Fens.
To help protect homes against burglary, police offer the following advice:
• Ensure front and rear doors are strong, in good condition and kept secure with good quality deadlocks – two thirds of burglars gain entry through a door
• Where possible use laminated glass panels or window security film on glass in external doors, making it more difficult to break.
• If purchasing sliding patio doors, ensure the sliding door is on the inside, has anti-lift devices and locks fitted to the top and bottom or a multi-locking system.
• Fit a letterbox restrictor and keep keys out of easy reach to prevent burglars ‘fishing’ for keys.
• Secure all your external windows – a third of burglars get in through a window – all ground floor and easy to reach windows should be fitted with locks and keys.
• To deter access to your property, fit 2m fencing and lock gates, plant prickly bushes along boundaries and use gravel which is noisy to walk on.
• Good lighting can put off or draw attention to a thief so consider installing carefully directed security lighting as a deterrent.
Between January and November, 282 burglaries were reported across West Norfolk compared to 252 during the same period the previous year.
A significant number of recent offences have been walk-in burglaries, carried out by thieves who have simply walked into unlocked homes.
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Supt Nick Davison said: “The recent increase in burglaries across the district is unusual and we’re asking everyone to do what they can to stop thieves from operating.”
Victims and other vulnerable households will be offered free state-of-the-art property marking to help counter a the increase.
Supt Davison said: “We have invested in Selecta DNA security marking technology which will be offered free to burglary victims and other vulnerable households, making their property virtually worthless to thieves.
“At the same time, my officers will be out in the community to promote crime prevention awareness, target and catch suspected thieves and those buying off them.”
One couple whose home was recently targeted by thieves have spoken about their experience.
The couple, in their 60s, who wished to remain anonymous, described feeling “sad” and “angry” after burglars stole thousands of pounds worth of family heirlooms while they were away on a short break last month. Their home had been left secure.
The man said: “I have been left with considerable anger that my wife may never get any of her things back or that those responsible may never be apprehended.
“Victims of serious crime can give a statement about how it has affected them but the emotional and psychological impact of this type of crime is enormous and not recognised.”
His wife added: “I had been left some beautiful jewellery, entrusted to me to look after it for the generations to come. It has made me feel really guilty that I haven’t been able to protect it from the evil and uncaring social outcasts. I just cannot imagine the awful, unloving families they must have come from.”
King’s Lynn Inspector Mark Cant, who is leading the campaign, said: “The impact of burglary on its victims cannot be underestimated and we do not want people to suffer this unnecessarily.
“Many of the burglaries we investigate could have been prevented with simple security measures and this is what we will be working to promote over the coming weeks.”
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