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Police advice to avoid being a crime victim this winter
9:27am Monday 29th October 2012 in News
Now the clocks have gone go and the nights draw in, Merseyside Police are offering adviceto help stop readers falling victim to crime.
Most domestic burglaries have no forced entry, and the burglar simply walks in through an unlocked door or climbs through an open window.
It only takes a few minutes for burglars to sneak into your home and steal your belongings and they will look to identify an easy target.
Superintendent Kevin Johnson, said: "The shorter days mean people’s houses are left in darkness for longer and can give criminals the opportunity to break in, knowing someone isn’t in. However you can make life as difficult as possible for them by making your home anything but an easy target.
"Improving security features like locks and alarms, and making sure your house always looks occupied can make a big difference. All people need to do is pick up the phone and call us and we will offer them all the help we can.
"Police community support officers from across the force will be continuing to run Operation Handle, an initiative aimed at reducing the number of people who fail to lock their UPVC doors properly.
"People not locking their UPVC doors remains a big problem as it is giving criminals far too easy a ride. Opportunists can try dozens of handles in a street and, at the minute, it won’t be long before they find one that opens.
"Often people are either forgetting to both push the handle up as well as turn the key, or they are leaving it unlocked while round at a neighbour’s or elsewhere in the house. Operation Handle aims to highlight just how vulnerable that can leave your property.
"Officers will be continuing to go from house to house trying people’s handles and speaking to those who leave their doors open about the risks.
Hopefully they will appreciate that it could have been a burglar in their home instead of the police."
To help keep homes safe this winter take heed of the following advice:
• Don’t advertise new items you may have bought such as electrical equipment to people by leaving the empty boxes outside your home. Try to dispose of the packaging carefully by taking it to a recycling centre or keep it out of sight until the day your rubbish is collected
• All valuable property should be marked with a UV pen and you should keep a record of the serial numbers. This can help make it easier for you to be reunited with your property if you are the victim of a burglary and the items are recovered
• During the dark nights, use a light timing device to switch the lights on (ensuring your blinds/curtains are drawn)