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No free treats for burglars

The drawing in of dark nights and the predictability of many people heading out to Halloween and Bonfire night provide the perfect conditions for criminals intent on treating themselves to others’ property. Sadly, burglaries tend to rise across the country around this time of year as a result.

So, whether you’re planning to be a witch, wizard, or vampire this evening, please review your own home security before you head out.

Have you …

  • Locked your windows and doors – even if just at a neighbour’s house or in the garden? Remember to double-lock UPVC doors.
  • Secured even your smallest windows such as skylights? A thief can get through any gap larger than a human head.
  • Removed keys from locked windows and put them out of sight?
  • Made your house look/sound occupied? Using timer switches on lights, radios and other appliances can help.
  • Taken valuables out of sight of windows and stored them away safely?
  • Set your house alarm?
  • Checked side gates are locked securely?
  • Got your keys? Never leave them under a door mat or flowerpot or other places where burglars can easily find them.
  • Locked your car keys away or taken them with you? Opportunist burglars will otherwise have instant access to your car.
  • Not shared your plans for an evening out on your social media channels.

Our burglary investigations lead Chief Inspector Karen Corrigan says that even though these steps are quick and simple to action, they often open the door to opportunistic thieves if not taken.

“While many people will be out enjoying the fun of Halloween and Bonfire displays and parties this week, we know that criminals will be taking advantage of homes being empty. So, we’re urging people to please look at their properties from a thief’s perspective and help prevent the devastation, trauma and loss that results from being burgled.

“Our officers will be out and patrolling to help keep our communities safe, but we need everybody’s eyes and ears, so if you see anyone acting suspiciously or suspect a crime is in progress, please contact us immediately.”

Tell us about any suspicious activity as it happens by calling 101. Remember to pass on vehicle details and descriptions. If you think a crime is underway, it’s always 999.

IMPORTANT – If you suspect you are being burgled, call 999 straight away and wait in a safe place for help to arrive. Do not enter your property if there is a chance the suspect is still inside.

For more information on how to protect your house from burglary see our advice page on securing your property –  https://staging.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/protecting-your-home-and-property/ensure-your-property-is-secure/