Wiltshire Police is reminding all householders to remain vigilant as its summer burglary campaign is launched.
The campaign which runs from 17 July – 23 July aims to educate residents about simple precautions they can take to protect their home and garden from being targeted by burglars.
To improve the security in and around the home the force is asking householders to remember the following advice:
• Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even if you’re in the garden, and make sure you have approved locks or bolts on all doors and windows
• Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like in a plant pot or letterbox – a thief knows all the hiding places
• Keep all keys, purses and wallets out of sight and away from the letterbox
• Consider installing a burglar alarm, and only use a company that is registered or certified with the NSI or the SSIAB
• Do not open the door to anyone you don’t know or are not expecting. Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window
• Make sure that you have up to date contents insurance
• Register all serial numbers from electrical items, tools and garden equipment with Immobilise.com the free national property register. Mark items without serial numbers with an artificial DNA property marker such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA
• Do not keep large amounts of cash at home – it is much safer in a bank or building society
• Trim back any plants and hedges at the front of your property to no higher than 1 metre to remove hiding places
• Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel
• Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when you are not at home
• Take photographs of all jewellery including hallmarks and keep them safe. Also consider using an artificial DNA property marker on jewellery or other valuable items
• Make sure any bolts are low enough so they cannot be opened by reaching over the top of the gate
T/Detective Superintendent Deb Smith, Head of Crime, said: ‘Burglary can have a devastating effect on how people feel in their own homes.
‘During the summer months when the weather is nice, people can be more inclined to leave their property insecure, but this leaves them open to being targeted by burglars.
‘Throughout the campaign we want to raise awareness of the simple precautions people can take to improve the security in and around their home, as well as the impact burglary can have on the victims.
“We urge all residents to follow our prevention messages and to work with us by reporting anything suspicious on 101.’
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, said: ‘Preventing crime is one of the key priorities in my 2017-2021 Police and Crime Plan.
‘Wiltshire continues to be a safe place to live, but it is important that all of us remain vigilant and take steps to prevent becoming a victim of crime.
‘The Force has drawn up a comprehensive plan to tackle burglary and I welcome this summer campaign.
‘As householders we can all play a big part in protecting our property and possessions with a few simple steps.’
If you have any information about offenders or see something suspicious, please call Wiltshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111. In an emergency dial 999.