When the clocks go back on Sunday 30 October 2016, residents are encouraged to ‘switch on’ to some simple crime prevention tactics. This is also the time of year when there is the possibility of lots of people going out and enjoying Halloween/Firework Parties.
Lights on Timers
As darkness now descends earlier in the day we want to help people ensure that they don’t advertise that their homes are open to thieves by leaving their home in darkness or leave their property and valuables unsecured.
Leaving your house in total darkness is a sure sign no-one’s at home and an invitation to burglars. Burglars look for quick win opportunities; they don’t want to run the risk of a confrontation so simply leaving a light on to give the impression someone is at home is often enough to deter them.
Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re away for a few days. Leaving a light on costs literally pence in electricity – and that pales into insignificance compared to the hundreds of pounds in insurance excess you might have to pay should your home be broken into. A high proportion of all break-ins are as a result of properties being left insecure so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial. Other home security essentials are to use your burglar alarm if you have one – it’s amazing how many households don’t bother – and also to never leave a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot. Burglars will always look there first so it’s not much of a ‘hiding place’.
Suffolk Police advise most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who will search a neighbourhood for homes that look empty or dark, with access to back gardens. They also look out for windows that have been left open and unlocked doors.
By following a few simple steps, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of burglary.
Anyone wishing to find out more about Crime Prevention Advice and Home Security should contact their local Crime Prevention Officer at Suffolk Police on 101.
101 is the number to call when you want to contact Suffolk Police when it’s less urgent, however in an emergency always call 999.
There are a number of other celebrations at this time of the year too.
Diwali (also known as the Festival of Lights) is one such celebration. Diwali is a religious festival including Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths which begins on Wednesday 11 November and continues for 5 days until Sunday 15 November. This brings an opportunity for houses and businesses to be renovated and decorated and is also a time of much celebration with feasts. Diwali is also a time when fireworks are permitted until 1am the next day
There are visits to family and friends houses and women often dress in luxurious silks and this is also when gifts of gold jewellery are often exchanged and worn. Unfortunately this is also a time when there is the potential for a significant increase in families having gold and other jewellery in their houses, and in their possession, which could lead to an increase in the offences whereby Asian gold is targeted.
Ipswich and Suffolk Indian Association (ISIA) can provide more information about Diwali and other celebrations
In the past Police Forces nationally have experienced an increase of jewellery thefts during this period. In particular, some Asian communities are often hit harder by thefts as their jewellery is often made of purer gold which has a higher value. Hampshire Police have helpfully produced some essential messages in a range of languages, these are linked below:
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – English
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Hindi
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Bengali
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Punjabi
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Urdu
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Nepalese