StreetSafe Blog

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Lock up and stay safe as dark nights draw in

Posted by StreetSafe on October 20, 2010

As the dark nights draw in, police in Cumbria are urging communities to lock up and stay safe this autumn.
As British Summertime ends next week and the clocks go back one hour, police are urging residents to help protect their homes from opportunist thieves. Officers across Cumbria will be out and about in their communities handing out crime prevention advice and distributing pocket sized tips to raise awareness of the importance of home security and the simple steps people should take to stay safe.
Neighbourhood watch coordinators will also be joining forces with police to distribute this information to equip all residents with the safety advice they need as we head into winter.
Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said: “At this time of year the dark nights draw in, so opportunist thieves can think there is less chance of being seen or caught.
“To ensure that crime in our county remains low, we are urging residents to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious looking people or vehicles to us immediately.
“Police officers around Cumbria will be raising awareness of crime prevention tips and home security advice but local people have a vital role to play in keeping crime down. By taking a few simple steps to prevent themselves and their homes from becoming easy targets for criminals, communities can protect themselves and their neighbours from becoming victims of crime.
“Officers will be holding Safer Stronger Community meetings where they will be discussing home and personal safety and will be giving local people the chance to ask for advice or for help on particular safety issues. By taking a few minutes to consider their security measures and adopt some simple routines, residents can secure their property and help us make life difficult for criminals.”
Cumbria Constabulary offers the following Top Tips for keeping your home safe:
• Don’t give thieves a window of opportunity – Fit and use good quality locks on doors and windows and ensure they are closed, even when you are inside
• Keep valuables and keys in a safe place, out of sight and at a distance away from windows and doors where they can be snatched (Opportunist thieves take advantage of unlocked doors and can very quickly step inside and snatch items such as handbags, purses and laptops)

• Make your home appear occupied when out or away by using timer switches or leaving a light on
• Consider installing outside security lighting and a burglar alarm
• Don’t open your door to unexpected callers – check their identity first using a door viewer or a door chain. Always check the identity of business callers as identification cards will always be carried and readily offered. If in doubt, keep them out. Genuine callers will always provide a contact number for their head office in order for you to check up on the nature of their work
• Mark your valuables with your postcode – speak to your Neighbourhood Policing Team about how to get Smartwater to protect your valuables
• Lock away ladders, garden tools and other items that burglars could use
• Remember – if you can get into your home without your keys – so could a burglar
• Remove all property from your vehicle when you leave it unattended. Keep your car in a secure garage or on the driveway of your home. If you park in the street make sure it is locked and in a well lit area
Police officers are working with school children to explain the importance of staying safe and respecting their communities as half term approaches. They will also be urging youngsters to log onto http://www.wotson4u.com throughout next week, to find out what activities they can get involved with in their area.
Dedicated Neighbourhood Policing Teams are available to give individual crime prevention advice for local residents and businesses and listen to their concerns. To get in touch with your local team please call 0845 33 00 247
Further crime prevention advice and information on the issues police are tackling in your area is available by logging on to http://www.cumbria.police.uk
Police have also created a brand new crime prevention advice video which is available on their dedicated YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/cumbriapolice

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