Police are sharing a range of security advice as the winter months approach.
Burglaries are currently down around 17 per cent compared to the same period last year however, during the autumn and winter months burglaries often increase, so police will be focusing on targeting burglars and sharing home security advice in the months leading up to Christmas.
Safer Neighbourhood Officers will be holding crime prevention events across the county, giving out burglary prevention advice on how to keep homes and valuables safe.
Residents are also being advised to make their homes as secure as possible and consider installing some of the affordable security devices which are currently available. There are a variety of inexpensive security lights and WiFi-enabled doorbell and interior cameras, fitted with motion sensors, which enable you to monitor your home remotely using your phone. These kinds of devices can be easily installed for minimal expense and have been successful in thwarting a number of burglaries across the country.
Residents can make their homes more secure by following some basic crime prevention advice such as:
· Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVCu doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them;
· Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm;
· Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV;
· Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight;
· Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed;
· Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows;
· Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked;
· Join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch for alerts and advice at www.owl.co.uk;
· Visit www.owlprotect.uk for discounts on security products.
More crime prevention advice is available at www.herts.police.uk/protectyourhome and www.hertscitizensacademy.org
Inspector Nicki Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s crime reduction unit, said: “Burglaries have been decreasing over the last couple of years in Hertfordshire, but we always see an increase once the clocks go back.
"Criminals prefer to target unoccupied homes and at this time of year they can tell if a home is empty if there are no lights on once it gets dark. If you give your home a lived in look by using a timer switch to turn on a light, radio or television when it gets dark, then criminals are more likely to avoid your home.
“Keeping your home lit and remembering to secure windows and double-lock PVCu doors by lifting the handle and turning the key to engage all the safety features are easy ways to secure your home. There are some great affordable home security devices on the market such as security cameras and lighting that can help to make your home even safer.”