Following a number of burglaries over the past fortnight, police in Bishop’s Stortford are sharing advice to help people stop their homes from becoming from a target while they are away on holiday.
In many of the recently reported instances, the victims had been away from their properties for several days when the burglaries occurred.
Everyone should be able to enjoy a holiday without fear of becoming a victim of crime. But, unfortunately, it could be the opportunity a burglar is looking for.
Burglars will look for signs of an unoccupied home, like unopened letters at the front door, bins not put away or drawn curtains during the day. Making it appear that your home is occupied can be the most effective deterrent against burglary.
Anyone who has a holiday upcoming is encouraged to take note of the following advice:
Close and lock all windows, doors and outbuildings.
Avoid publishing your absence on the Internet. Status updates, comments and photos can all give away the fact that your home is empty.
Use timer switches for lamps so that they turn on as it gets dark in the evenings. You could also use a timer switch for a radio (always follow manufacturer's instructions).
Ask your neighbour to put your rubbish or recycling bins back if they’re being collected whilst you’re away – if they’re left out after collection day it could indicate to a passing thief that your house is unoccupied. Be a good neighbour and do the same for them.
If you aren’t leaving your car at home, ask a neighbour/friend to park their car on your drive if possible.
Don’t forget to cancel deliveries of milk, newspapers etc.
Consider moving enticing items, such as laptops and mobile devices, so that they are out of sight.
You could store valuables in your loft when you go away.
If you are away for a longer period of time in the summer months, ask your neighbour to cut your grass. This helps to show that the house may be occupied.
You could also ask someone you trust to help give your home the lived-in look by opening and drawing the curtains, taking in any free newspapers and moving your mail away from the letterbox.
If you witness any suspicious activity in your local area, please call 999 straight away.
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