Crime prevention reminder to deter opportunistic burglars,

Recent figures released by Epsom & Ewell Police shows that burglaries in January where down on last year by 31% and at the recent PCC & Police event figures for 2019 shows burglaries are down by 25.3% from 2018. BUT there is still a lot you can do to protect your property.

With just under two months to go until the clocks change to British Summer Time (BST), Surrey Police are reminding people to report suspicious incidents to us, especially as it still gets dark late in the afternoon, to help deter opportunistic burglars.

Officers are continuing to take part in Operation Spearhead, which has been running with overt and covert officers and staff deployed solely to prevent burglaries and catch offenders across the whole of Surrey.

You can also help by registering your valuables at Immobilise.com and investing in unique marking liquid such as SelectaDNA.

Between 29 December 2019 and 2 February 2020 a total of 608 residential burglaries were reported to us across the whole of Surrey. Of these: 163 related to the east of the county, 219 related to the west of the county, and 226 related to the north of the county.

Detective Superintendent Wendy Whiting, who heads up Surrey Police’s response to burglary said: “Residents tend to think about home security and leaving a light on more in November and December, as they notice the night’s drawing in. It’s important to consider our crime prevention advice all year-round, especially towards the end of winter before the clocks change to British Summer Time as opportunistic burglars will use the darker afternoons to target homes before people get back from work.

“We have seen an increase in burglary across the whole of Surrey in the last month. Many of these reports relate to activity in the late afternoon or early evening and are not confined to specific areas, although the number of reports from the east of the county are marginally below those for the west and the north.

“Reporting suspicious incidents to us is vital to our response to burglary, so that we can build a comprehensive picture of what is happening across the county in order to disrupt opportunistic burglars. For example: on Wednesday 29 January we received four reports, from members of the public, about two men acting suspiciously in the area around The Avenue and Ambleside Road in Lightwater. One of the reports related to the men pushing against the door of a property that was unoccupied. An officer from the Neighbourhood Policing Team attended and spoke with the persons identified. No offences were discovered, but the actions of the public and our officers could well have prevented a number of break-ins in this instance. I’d urge anyone who observes something they feel is out of place and could be related to crime to call 101 as soon as possible”.

 Crime Prevention Advice:

  • Leave a light on when you leave your property to deter opportunistic burglars.
  • Shut and lock all windows and external doors when you are not using the room, at night, and when you leave your property
  • If your home has UPVC doors or windows with multi-point locks make sure they are locked with a key and that door handles have been lifted properly. Remove the key after the door or window is locked and leave it out of sight.
  • Don’t leave other keys visible from outside your home or near a letterbox.
  • Consider using timer switches for lights and other electrical appliances like radios while you are out.
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property and that ladders and tools are properly locked away. Consider an alarm system that’s clearly visible and outside lighting to deter opportunistic thieves.
  • Always check who is knocking before you open your door and use door chains and spy holes to help you to identify who it is. Don’t feel pressured to open the door and call 101 to report anyone acting suspiciously.
  • Register your property at www.immobilise.com to improve the chances of getting your property back if it’s stolen.
  • Mark your property with a forensic marking product such as www.selectadna.co.uk

For more burglary crime prevention advice please visit: https://www.surrey.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

Anyone with information can call 101. In an emergency or if a crime is in progress always dial 999.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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