The Wokingham Paper

Thames Valley Police call on residents to check their homes before they get burgled

burglar

HOMEOWNERS are being urged to spring into action to tackle domestic burglaries.

Thames Valley Police has issued guidelines on how to reduce the risk which can increase due to longer days and better weather.

The Head of Force Intelligence and Special Operations, Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List, said opportunist burglaries increase during spring and summer.

“It might be a window left open for fresh air or a door unlocked,” he said.

“Criminals look for opportunities like these to strike. Burglary has a huge impact on victims. It’s not just the financial cost of having to replace items stolen, but the emotional impact of having a stranger violate your home.

“We find that people don’t often think about the effects of burglary until it happens to them, or someone they know.

“The best way to review your security arrangements is to look at your property through the eyes of a burglar. Think about how you would you break in if you locked yourself out?”

Richard List
Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List from Thames Valley Police

Top tips to avoid becoming a victim of home burglaries include:

  • Ensure doors and windows are locked, even if you are just out in the garden.
  • Store house, window and car keys away from windows and your letterbox.
  • Hide valuables so they can’t be seen from outside.
  • Mark your valuables with a UV pen or forensic marking kit as this will make it harder for thieves to sell the items.
  • Register valuables for free on the national property register at www.immobilise.com and bicycles at www.bikeregister.com.Always lock sheds and garages to prevent access to tools that could be used to break into your home.
  • Trim back hedges and shrubs at the front of your property so that burglars have nowhere to hide.

Thames Valley Police has produced a guide that contains a range of physical and digital security measures to protect your home.

There is also advice on how to avoid invalidating your home insurance through poor security and a handy checklist when going away.

To download your copy, visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk and search ‘Home Security Guide’.

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