Winter nights bring rise in Suffolk burglaries - don’t advertise your empty home to thieves on Facebook
PUBLISHED: 11:38 26 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:38 26 October 2017
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Suffolk is approaching its seasonal peak in home burglaries - prompting calls for people to step up security and not advertise when their properties are left empty.
With the clocks going back this weekend, Suffolk Constabulary has highlighted the heightened risk as thieves seek to capitalise on the opportunities posed by dark, winter nights.
Officers are hoping to stop the rise in burglaries by issuing some simple tips to deter criminals.
Chief Insp Stuart Grimsey said: “Leaving your house in complete darkness is a clear sign to burglars that it may be empty which, with the sun setting before most people get home from work during the winter, is an open invitation to opportunistic thieves.
“If no one is going to be home when darkness falls, consider leaving a light on or invest in a timer so that your lights or radio come on automatically at certain times to give the impression that someone is in.
“There are also systems that combine with smart phone apps, which allow you to operate electronic equipment in your home from anywhere in the world.”
Other forms of technology, including CCTV or doorbell camera technology are also recommended.
Chief Insp Grimsey highlighted a case in March when a burglar was jailed for four years after being caught on doorbell camera trying to break into a Bury St Edmunds home. He said the high-definition footage of him was “indisputable” adding that there is “real value” in using such technology to keep safe from crime.
Social media users are also being advised not to advertise when their homes are empty by “checking in” to places or publicising they are on holiday.
Other simple steps include locking doors and windows and keeping valuables out of sight.
People who see any suspicious behaviour are urged to contact police immediately on 999 to give officers the best chance of making an arrest or preventing a crime taking place.
People who believe they have information about crimes being committed you can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Visit www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z for more advice on how people can protect their homes this winter.