As the clocks go back this weekend and the nights get darker, Suffolk police is urging the public to increase their vigilance around home and vehicle security.
To prevent the seasonal increase in burglaries and theft from motor vehicles, the force is encouraging householders and motorists to follow some simple crime prevention advice to keep their property safe.
Residents should avoid leaving their homes unlit in the evenings for example, as a house in darkness is more likely to attract the attentions of burglars. Vehicles should also ideally be parked in a well-lit and secure place.
Head of Investigations, Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said: said: “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.”
Further to this, Suffolk police is reminding the public to take care in what they share on social media. Virtual indicators can be just as dangerous as physical ones. Refrain from advertising you are away on holiday, or ‘checking in’ to places. Absent occupants should limit knowledge of their house being empty.
Det Supt Smith added: “Even if you think only your friends can see your posts, you don’t know who they are friends with and who might know them. Always keep your accounts private and consider posting holiday photos once you return home.”
Those that live in an area previously targeted by thieves or those who are planning to up their home security could also consider installing smart technology such as a doorbell camera or similar safety measures. The force has recently partnered with home security company Ring, who provide such technology. In the past year, two burglars have been caught and convicted with the help from footage obtained from Ring Video Doorbells.
Det Supt Smith continued: “We recognise the huge potential for technology such as video doorbells and other remote monitored security cameras to help catch criminals and prevent crime. Such smart technology products proactively help to deter and detect burglars, keeping our communities safe from crime and creating an environment which is hostile to burglars and other criminals.”
Yet even simple steps will go far in limiting the risk of burglary. Police have recently supported the #9PMRoutine, a social media campaign encouraging residents to adopt a nightly security routine. They are advised to perform the following four checks: check vehicles, shut windows, lock doors and check outbuildings at 9pm.
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “As the days get shorter and the evenings draw in, we should all be a little more aware of our home security and take a few extra steps to keep our homes and property safe.
“The constabulary’s advice is easy to follow and could make a real a difference. I would encourage everyone to take a look at the #9PMRoutine, it’s such a simple idea – set a reminder for 9pm and when it goes off, do some quick checks around your home.
“Many burglars are opportunistic, looking for easy pickings; we need to make sure those opportunities are not available in Suffolk.”
If you notice any suspicious activity or believe a crime to be in progress you are urged to call the police immediately on 999. If you feel that you have information about crimes being committed you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more advice on what you can do to protect your home this winter, visit: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z
The clocks go back one hour this weekend at 2am on Sunday 28 October.