Skip to content Quick exit
REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999
REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999

Give your home the lived-in look and avoid being burgled this winter in St Albans

29 Nov 2019
  • Burglaries have increased in St Albans, London Colney and Park Street.

  • As darkness falls earlier in the day, your home can look unoccupied, and more inviting for burglars, if there are no lights on.

  • Consider installing a timer switch, ask a neighbour to park on your drive and make sure your post is pushed properly through the letter box if you are away.

You’re in a rush to get to work, drop the children off at school or late for an appointment and you drive off, leaving your house all day without thinking about how it looks in the dark before you get home.

“This can make your home vulnerable to an opportunist thief,” said St Albans Detective Inspector Alex(andra) Warwick. “As darkness falls earlier in the day, your home can look unoccupied, and more inviting for burglars, if there are no lights on.

“We have already seen burglaries increase in St Albans, London Colney and Park Street. We need to know when a burglary is in progress so we can catch those responsible so please let us know straight away, even if it is just a hunch.”

DI Warwick has spoken to dozens of offenders, some of whom have been on the Choices and Consequences project (C2), in which they admit all their offending and engage in a programme which addresses any addiction they may have (for example to drugs or alcohol), in exchange for a deferred sentence which means they do not go to prison as long as they commit no further offences.

A burglar, who received a custodial sentence for burglary, said: “I look for houses where it looks like no-one is in. I don’t want to be seen – there’s more chance of being caught and I don’t really want to scare people. I just want to get in and out as quickly as possible. If the lights are off when it’s dark in the daytime, no cars on the drive, maybe even letters hanging out of the letter box and curtains still drawn in the daytime, I’d give this one a go. They can stand out a mile.”

DI Warwick added: “Consider installing a timer switch, ask a neighbour to park on your drive if you are away for a few days or on holiday and ask a neighbour to make sure your post is pushed properly through the letter box so it looks like someone is inside, collecting their post. Try to ensure parcels are not left on your doorstep by arranging for delivery when you are home, or they can be left with a neighbour. Offenders don’t like dogs so anything that gives them the impression that there is a dog at the address is a deterrent.

“Obviously doors should always be locked when you leave your house and close all the windows, preferably locked as well. Make sure your shed or garage is secure as well.”

She said: “It’s better for everyone if we can prevent the burglary in the first place. Although I take great pleasure in my teams arresting burglars, I would prefer residents to not have been a victim of crime in the first place. The thought of someone in your home can be very upsetting and some personal possessions with sentimental value are irreplaceable. Let’s work together to make burglars unwelcome in the district and please call 999 if you suspect a burglary is in progress.”

She added: “We have also had a number of Ranger Rovers stolen recently. Try and park in a garage or a well-lit area or near CCTV. Also consider using a crook lock and if you see anyone acting suspiciously around a vehicle, call 999.”

 

Our website uses cookies to improve your experience.

OK