LARNE police have advised householders to help protect against domestic burglary by taking a few minutes each day to properly secure their property.
Summer months can prove an opportune time for burglars, with householders either away on holiday or spending more time in the garden, perhaps leaving the front door unlocked.
Constable Andrew Stevenson said: “Criminals are currently on the lookout for easy opportunities to steal high-value items such as computers, cameras and games consoles. In almost 50 per cent of all burglaries, thieves gain access through unlocked doors and windows. It is therefore really important that people ensure their properties are secured.”
Con Stevenson added: “Burglary is a key priority for the police in Larne. We know how distressing it is to have your home violated and so we have identified some straightforward steps householders can take to deter opportunistic thieves.”
He advised: “Before you leave your home, or go to bed a night, close and lock your doors and windows. Consider fitting security lights or alarms. Where these are already in place, make sure they are working properly. Always lock garages and sheds and never leave keys in visible sight of thieves.
“Report all suspicious activity to police and ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your home and do the same for them.”
Con Stevenson reassured people that crime prevention doesn’t have to be expensive. “Indeed the first step - making sure that all the windows and doors are closed and properly locked each time you leave your house, even if you’re just in the back garden - costs nothing,” he said.
“If you are going on holiday, make sure that you cancel any regular deliveries such as milk or papers. If you have a glass front door, you may want to consider asking a relative or trusted friend to lift the mail so that it doesn’t gather in a pile, which indicates that you aren’t at home.
“Making use of timer switches is another inexpensive way to give your house that lived-in look, not only when you are away on holiday but every time you are out after dark. Remember to use the timer switches to turn lights on in rooms that would normally be occupied when at home.
“Think about who you discuss your holiday plans with. Do not post information on Facebook or other social networking sites which highlights the fact that you are not going to be at home for the next two weeks.”
Con Stevenson also urged householders to consider marking high-value items: “Looking after your belongings is what it is all about. For peace of mind, you should consider photographing and insuring valuables. Keep a copy of the photos with the insurance papers.
“It is also a good idea to keep a note of serial numbers, and to indelibly mark your property in a way that makes it unique to you. This makes it more difficult for criminals to re-sell your possessions, and it also makes it easier to identify your property, in the event it is stolen and subsequently recovered.”